June is GAY PRIDE month around the world!
It is traditionally celebrated the last Sunday of June, in most cities. Pride celebrations stemmed from the Stonewall Riots in New York City.
The Stonewall Riots were a series of violent conflicts between LGBT people and New York City police officers that began during a 28 June 1969 police raid, and lasted several days. They were centered at the Stonewall Inn and are widely recognized as the catalyst for the modern-day movement towards LGBT rights.
Gay pride or LGBT pride refers to a world wide movement and philosophy asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Heterosexual people have sometimes asked me, “Why do you have to have a pride day? Why are you so proud? We don’t have straight pride day?” – It’s about not feeling ashamed of who we are. It’s about showing people our numbers, that we are in fact EVERYWHERE. We come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Gay pride is about appreciating yourself and other members of our community for being different. GAY PRIDE means accepting yourself and celebrating who you are.
Gay pride advocates work for equal “rights and benefits” for LGBT people. The movement has three main premises:
– that people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity,
– that sexual diversity is a gift,
– and that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered.
Someone at Cedar Rapids Pride said, “Often the hardest person to come out to is yourself. GAY PRIDE doesn’t just happen. It is hard work to overcome the profound effects of abusive religion and cultural abandonment that afflict all minorities. Self-esteem is the greatest achievement that you can reach in life. Your sense of self-worth is so valuable, that you work hard all of your life to find and express it. To reach your goal of self-esteem and happiness requires knowledge and positive experience.”
Jed Ryan from Lick The Web says, “So, what is “Gay Pride?” It may not be so important that we find a universal definition. What’s more important is that all of us feel positively and lovingly about being who we are– in our case, definitely including but not limited to being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered– at least for one moment in our lives and hopefully more. And that can be in June or any other month, at the Parade or any other location, or whether you’re 17 or 70. Ultimately, the real and most important meaning of “pride” is in within each one of us.”
Marches celebrating Pride (pride parades) are celebrated worldwide, and every year, the number of gay people and their supporters grows bigger and bigger! We’re here, we’re queer, you’d better get used to it!
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