Many people think that Pride is a celebration of the existence of the LGBTQ+ community. But what many don’t know (or perhaps have forgotten) is that pride is primarily a statement. Editor Angelo Vero explains in his column today why pride month is so important.
Pride is not just a celebration.
It is a reminder of a dark period in queer history
that we must never forget!
Barely 53 years ago, there was no such thing as PRIDE, let alone someone who could openly coin the term homosexual, bisexual, transgender or other. In 1969, one of New York’s most famous gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn, was raided. Anyone who wore clothing or makeup that did not fit his or her gender designated at birth had long been targeted by the police and the target of aggression and hatred. On that particular morning, June 28, 1969, those in the club decided enough was enough and fought back, resulting in a conflict that would last for six days. The Stonewall Riots were a catalyst for a lot of organizations and other movements to enable rights for LGBTQ+ people.
The fact that we, as members of the queer community, have rights today, we owe mostly to that group who gave their own anonymity (and lives) for a better future. One such person is trans activist Marsha P. Johnson who was found dead in 1992. Officially, her death was recorded as a suicide, but many claim it was a murder. She is known today as the figurehead of the queer community and a symbol that we must not allow to be pushed aside, even if it means leaving ourselves vulnerable.
Why we need Pride?
Above all, Pride is a lesson that we must never forget that others have fought (and continue to fight) so that millions of other people around the world can live good, public lives. Pride is a reminder to anyone who thinks it’s a choice, a lifestyle that’s easy to push aside, that they’re thinking wrong. That the more they push, the more we push back.
Pride is also an opportunity for people who are not part of the community to make themselves seen as allies. It shows future generations that there is more love in the world than hate. We need that!
During this Pride month I had the opportunity to work, with a couple of brands and amazingly talented people to highlight Pride month and to talk about what Pride means to me. These opportunities are important, not just for me, but for a lot of people who are afraid to live their truest lives. We need more representation of positivity, more queer members that show that being queer has not stopped them from doing what they love.
I realize very well that I am among the few lucky people who have been able to come out of the closet without any problems. A lot of young people, don’t have that luxury. There is still too much hate and prejudice about how a queer person’s life would be. Those ways of thinking are outdated and totally out of touch with reality. In the past, homosexuality was associated with a problematic and short life. And parents were scared for their children because they thought life would not give them opportunities. Today, there are more queer people among the biggest names around the world living more than successful lives. Which is a message of hope for the young and the future brave people.
I am grateful that I can use my platform and voice to spread the word. And I want to thank everyone for an amazing Pride month!