It is June, which means that Pride month is in full swing. Due to the oppression this community has faced for years, this month is very special to them. All month long there have been stories about how people are celebrating and what they are doing to embrace this time. So, break out your rainbow flags, bows, shirts and pants, anything and let’s celebrate!
What is Pride?
Pride, I would say, is an umbrella term. So many people are considering being a part of the LQBTQIA+ community. Which is why it was no longer just LBGT and there is even the plus added as well. There is no discrimination against anyone, those who consider themselves a part of this community face lots of challenges. Like hate crimes, discrimination, oppression. This is why they have their month in June to celebrate themselves. Because there were decades when people felt they needed to be ashamed of themselves, they use June as a way to remember to have pride in who they are.
Like any holiday, there is typically a reason for celebration. Easter celebrates the rebirth of Christ. Christmas is for his birth and so on. Similarly to these well respected and widely practiced holidays, there is a reason for pride celebration as well. Pride month has been around for quite some time but had not gained its coverage until recently.
Today, being open about being a member of the LGBTIA community is applauded. As very many know, this is still very very recent. Those that are older in the community did not have that freedom. They were “afraid to come out of the closet”. So, before pride month became “Gay Christmas” as some people call it, it held a very different meaning.
International Pride Day
As most movements started, there were uprisings and protests. Pride goes back to 1969 and the Stonewall Uprising. This was when the liberation movement started to gain its momentum and set the foundation for it is in 2021. The uprisings themselves lasted a couple of days and started at the end of June. Maybe that is why June is pride month.
It started as the police “raided” a gay club in New York City. It was called the Stonewall Inn. The police were not easy going with the employees and people in the bar. Much like the Black Lives Matter movement today. Before Stonewall, it seemed many gay bars were the target of raids. On June 28th there was a raid at the inn that the owners were not aware of (there are times police will let the bar know ahead of time). Being openly gay and showing PDA was illegal at the time. So when the police saw people showing their own pride, there are reports of them taking people into the bathrooms to “check their gender”.
Of course, this angered the people celebrating and sparked what was to come. So, instead of leaving, the crowd remained outside the bar until a riot broke out. The police stayed in the bar, which they tried to set on fire. Luckily, this was avoided. But, for another 5 days after, the riots and protests continued.
Even decades following the riots, at Stonewall, the bar still remains open. Just not in the same way. Following the riots, the original bar closed, but by the 90s, Stonewall was open again with a new look. Now it is a landmark and symbol for Pride month. Though due to the pandemic, it was very close to falling victim. For months it was struggling, many people who worked at Stonewall were out of a job and the owners needed to turn to the community for help.
This was a great example of support from a community. With the use of technology, the owners of Stonewall created a GoFundMe to ask for help in order to keep the landmark open. Though it was not the original Stonewall, it embodies all the beliefs and symbols of the original. Which is why people came to support it when asked. When gay marriage was legalized, people went to Stonewall to celebrate. It is a physical embodiment of what the people in the LQBTQIA+ have been fighting for, for many decades.
Pride Month June 2021
Pride month in 2021 is in full swing right now. All social media feeds are full of events, parades, education on pride etc. It really is a beautiful thing for this community. Around the nation, people make it a point of hanging the gay pride flag in support of the community. Gilbert Baker created the flag in 1978 to make a new symbol for the LGBT movement.
That is exactly what happened. Today you can see the flag hung in many places, and how appropriate that Flag day is in the middle of June. Maybe the next goal is getting the Pride flag included on flag day. Pride month looks very different than how it did last year. This was in order to make up for last year’s little to do during pride month.
Pride month is big all across the country and the world. Starting in the northeast of the United States, Pride month is very big in Boston. When it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, it was very upsetting. To accommodate the loosening restrictions on in-person events, they are holding some in-person events. But, for those that are not comfortable yet, do not worry, remote events are still happening.
This past week (June 11- 18), Boston held a couple of events. For the whole month of June throughout the city, they invited everyone to light up their house with rainbow-colored lights. Specifically, they asked people to do this on June 13th and they call it, “Pride Illumination“. Many buildings took part in this showing the town in rainbow lights. It looks like an amazing sight.
Every year, European countries get together to celebrate pride month. Meaning, this is not just a movement that is important to the United States but around the world. But, for this year, it is actually world pride, which will be held in Copenhagen. Though this is reported to be taking place in August 2021. Prolonging the celebration of pride month.
The reason for this delay is due to the ongoing pandemic. By August, restrictions will not be as strict, allowing for a better celebration. This is a free event open to all people with the theme #YouAreIncluded. They will also have testing sites open to all to ensure everyone’s safety. Copenhagen is using this opportunity to spread awareness of discrimination and encourage people from all walks of life. Many people are very excited to see WorldPride and I hope that it lives up to everyone’s expectations.
Tel Aviv Pride
Pride in Tel Aviv, Israel is actually very popular. On their website, they brand themselves as “one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world”. With the built-up energy from people in lock down the event is very much anticipated to be amazing. If not out of this world.
For a week, the people in Tel Aviv get together to celebrate pride. One of their biggest events is their Pride Parade. It lasts all day and goes throughout the town to a beach. Which is where everyone gets together after to continue all throughout the night. This year it will take place on June 25th. I’m excited to see, hear and read about it like I’m actually there.
It seems that all over the world comes together in order to celebrate. Madrid Pride has become highly popular since it was the host of WorldPride in 2017. They start their celebrations later in June. June 28th starts pride week and it is actually International pride day, so many countries will be celebrating. Similar to Tel Aviv, the week will start off on International Pride Day with a huge parade that goes through most of the streets of Madrid and many people are excited about this event.
The lockdown in 2020 did not stop the people of Madrid from celebrating. There was a huge online event to get people together in honor of their annual parade. So they just moved this to an online platform. This year is anticipated to be bigger and better. While the parade is the main event for the week, there are other activities throughout to have people engage in. Many concerts will be held and something that sounds really interesting is the High Heels Race that they have. Definitely not something I would be able to take part in, but would totally love to witness.
New York City Pride
It seems fitting to talk about Pride New York City. That is the whole reason why June is pride month and June 28th is a day full of cheer in the Pride community. Opposed to most of the examples I have included here, NYC is a bit different. Festivities start on June 1st and end June 30th. NYC, as we have discussed, was the birthplace of Pride. So, every year they make sure the world knows it. Already this month there have been a few events held and more to come.
There are many events. At the beginning of this month, they had many virtual events. Also, a few events were targeted at a younger audience so they could learn about the LQBTQIA+ community. This is great, since prior to this, pride is not something children were able to learn about and talk about.
In the coming weeks and days since, New York has loosened its policies in regards to the pandemic. It could not have come at a better time. Mask restrictions are no longer as strict and paces are opening back to full capacity. The march on June 27th will be virtual for those who still want to participate, but in the city lots of shops will have pop-ups and lots of things outdoors. It seems things are finally looking up.
Though June is pride month, other parts of the world celebrate differently. For example, pride is not a European or United States event. Asia also celebrates pride. Their event is called Pride Asia Fest. This event is totally free and for anyone of all backgrounds, ages and species.
At least in 2021, the event had taken place on May 30th. I love how Pride starts at the end of May in Asia and goes all through June in the US and ends in July in Europe. It appears everyone loves to celebrate. Pride Asia was founded in 2012 and works as a support system for the LGBTQIA community with the added minority of being Asian Pacific Islander. They have many sponsors in support of their message. In typical COVID fashion, it was online this year. On their Facebook page, there were multiple people showing interest in the event. This was a great way to educate people about pride in Asia.
Pride all over the World
As we have seen, Pride is a very important cultural practice. And it knows no boundaries. People part of the LGBTIA+ community have fought for recognition and equal treatment. Pride is not about being oppressed, it is so much more. Now it is being able to take pride in who you are. It started in Stonewall when gay bars became a target for raids and unfair treatment.
It seems there is always a fight among humanity between race, sexual orientation and gender identity and so on. In the past, pride was a rebellion, full of protests. While this is still true and protests remain around today, pride month is more liberating than anything else. These places are not the only ones that celebrate pride, just some highlights. Canda also has a celebration which you can read about here.
It is refreshing to see the world come together in a form of unity. It is amazing to see how every continent and different countries react to pride. The rainbow flag touches the whole world in June.
While most of them all celebrate with parades and gatherings to get like-minded peers together, others also take the time and opportunity to educate others who do not understand pride month. All in all, pride month is a beautiful thing that celebrates and allows people to be who they are. It is safe to say that the world can come together and agree that pride month is a beautiful thing. Since you can travel anywhere in June and most likely they are celebrating.
It would be a wonderful thing to experience all the different countries that hosts things that have to do with pride. Imagine traveling in the month of June all around the world to actually be a part of it. I think for the future this is something I would love to do, just an idea though.