Do You Know The True Meaning Of Pride Month
Politics and Activism

Do You Know The True Meaning Of Pride Month

"If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?" -RuPaul

3479
Huffington Post

With summer in full swing, you might notice the world getting a little more colorful. Pride flags of all kinds start to emerge like the blooming flowers and rainbows shine on the streets and in the sky. In 2000, then President Bill Clinton established the month of June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. For nearly two decades, the LGBTQ community has used Pride month as a chance for activism and celebration. 2015’s Pride became historic on June 26th, when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. But even as more progress is made for the LGBTQ community, there are inevitably those every year that ask:

“If there’s Gay Pride, why can’t there be Straight Pride?”

“Why can you be proud of your sexuality but I can’t be proud of mine?”

“Why is your sexuality celebrated and mine ignored?”

Now, to be clear: the people who ask these kinds of questions aren’t inherently homophobic. They’re legitimate questions, and I believe this conflict and confusion results from using the phrase “Pride” to mark this month of celebration.

“Pride”, by simple definition, is joy or delight at a personal quality or achievement. The issue being is when individuals confuse LGBT Pride as being about delight in the quality of being LGBT.

My sexuality does not make me special. No one’s does. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you should feel good about yourself. Are you straight or cisgender? That’s awesome! Are you gay or transgender? That’s fantastic! Do you fall somewhere in between? Good for you! Sexuality and gender orientation is but a small part of what makes you great. So don’t feel ashamed for celebrating one of the many facets of you. I think this song by A Great Big World says it best.

However, when the LGBT community celebrates Pride, they are celebrating the achievements of the community as a whole. It’s not that straight and cisgendered individuals are not valid or worthy of celebration, but that they as a community have not faced the adversity and discrimination that the LGBT community has. When I celebrate Pride, I am celebrating the persistence and enduring spirit of this community that was once deemed a mental illness.

When we celebrate Pride, we are celebrating the fact that same-sex marriage is not only tolerated, but legalized. In the same breath, we swear to continue fighting for those in over 70 countries where homosexuality and homosexual acts are not only illegal, but in some cases, punishable by death.

When we celebrate Pride, we are giving voice to the young children who are too afraid to speak for themselves. Who cannot be honest about who they are for fear of retribution from their peers, their religious community, or even their own families. We speak out for the children and teenagers who are subjected to conversion therapy, to show them that there is hope and that we are continually fighting for them.

We celebrate Pride for individuals who look at images like these and wonder if they are true. For those who have been forced to abandon their faiths because of their sexuality, and those who are struggling to reconcile them.

But more than anything, this year we mourn, we memorialize, we celebrate Pride in memory of the 49 people who were killed and the 53 injured at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. They were attacked in a space they believed was safe for them and their community. For many, Pulse Nightclub might have been the only place they could be themselves. If we cannot stand up for those bright sparks that were extinguished far too early, how can we call ourselves activists?

For those who aren’t members of the LGBT community: celebrate Pride with us. Talk to your local, state, and federal representatives about LGBT issues. Stand up and speak out against bigotry when you hear it. Being united against discrimination makes us stronger as a society- regardless of how we choose to label ourselves.

For members of the LGBT community: every morning you get up and face the world (despite whatever obstacles are in front of you) is a victory. Be proud of yourself, and your community for making it this far. Listen to the advice of the older generation, and ensure you are being a model for the next.

In the end, we should all honor the past, savor the present, and look ahead to the future.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments