The month of June falls in the middle of the year. To most people, it means summer vacations and rising temperatures. But to a smaller group, the month holds an especially poignant meaning. It is a month where they get to shake off their shame, celebrate who they were born to be, and open their arms to anyone struggling with the truth of who they are. The entire month of June has been named as "Pride month" for the LGBTQ+ community.
It should be a beautiful time for self-love and self-acceptance. Every year, amongst the rainbows and in between the affirmation, there is a flood of negative complaints against the very existence of Pride month. You never have to travel very far to hear calls for a Straight Pride Parade, because it's not fair that LGBTQ+ people get their own month and straight people don't. If you're of this mindset, let me just stop you there.
Having the entire month of Pride is more than fair. It is deserved.
Having the entire month of Pride is more than fair. It is deserved. It has been earned. Pride month is a breath of fresh air for LGBTQ+ people to be able to celebrate who they are, after spending centuries being oppressed for daring to be anything but straight.
Straightness is treated, even in our modern world, as the default. When a person identifies with some letter within the LGBTQ+ acronym, they are viewed as straying from the norm. As long as LGBTQ+ people have existed, they have been fighting for their right to be seen as equal and not a group choosing a lesser alternative. Never in history have human beings been oppressed simply for being cisgender and/or heterosexual.
Discrimination on the basis of sexuality just isn't the reality for cishet people. But it has long been the crushing and painful reality for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Even in America, the so-called "land of the free," same-sex couples have only been free to marry for four years. Hate crimes on the basis of sexuality and gender are on the rise, and LGBTQ+ people are the most likely to face abuse out of any other minority group. To put it simply: as a straight person doesn't need a Pride month because they do not live in a world which tries to take away their pride for they you are. They are living in the majority, one which already has the freedom to be loved for who they are and to love who they love.
Pride is necessary because we live in a society where LGBTQ+ people are told they SHOULDN'T be proud of themselves. That their love or their identity is wrong, is worth less than that of others. History is filled with the cries of LGBTQ+ people who were killed or hurt just because they didn't fit a norm society had come to expect. Pride is an opportunity for a new sound to be heard: the joyful shouts of LGBTQ+ people around the world who are shaping a world where they are free to be the person they are.