Pride month is about the celebration of equality, the progression in education in LGBTQIA+ history and raising awareness of issues that still need to be addressed. Ultimately, pride is about appreciating and accepting who you are, no matter whom you love. The dictionary defines pride as:
“A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements”.
This July marks the fiftieth anniversary of the UK’s first official Pride march held in London in 1972. (See the bottom of this article for more information on Pride in London, 2022). Pride marches all around the world now celebrate and protest for LGBTQIA+ rights, following the first Chicago marches in the USA, in response to the Stonewall riots.
A brief history of the Stonewall riots
The Stonewall riots are known to have been a large contributing event in the gay liberation movement, during the late '60s. The riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the gay community, on the 28th of June 1969, in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village, NYC. Those involved fought back against violent police injustice toward the gay community.
Over the next few weeks, activist groups formed to begin demanding their rights to live openly, without fear of being arrested for their sexual orientation. As the movement developed, three newspapers were made in the promotion of gay rights. A year later, the first gay rights pride march took place in Chicago to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Same-sex marriage laws
Retrospectively, the LGBTQIA+ community we know today has come a long way thanks to the efforts of the LGBTQIA+ community, protestors, and pro-gay rights government supporters. However, there is still a very long way to go.
For example, only 30 countries and territories have enacted national laws allowing for same-sex marriage. These are mostly in Europe and America, with some Mexico jurisdictions allowing same-sex couples to wed, while others do not. Here is an extended list:
Costa Rica (2020)
The Netherlands (2000)
New Zealand (2013)
Northern Ireland (2019)
South Africa (2006)
United States (2015)
How Can you support The LGBTQIA+ Community?
There are many active ways to support the community, from using correct pronouns and self-educating on the homophobic history that surrounds the LGBTQIA+ community, to writing to government officials and taking part in gay-rights marches.
Respecting everybody’s pronouns and self-identification is one way to be supportive and inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community. Pronoun identity has become a loud topic on social media platforms over the last few years. It is important to help normalise the correct use of pronouns to encourage an inclusive environment. The addition of pronouns online can be seen over Instagram bio profiles, dating app bios and email signatures.
It is important to continue to the same level of pronoun awareness in active verbal conversations, not just online. This means asking people for their pronouns. Making assumptions about somebody’s pronouns can be damaging and traumatic, this leads to the aggravation of gender stereotypes and hinders the progression of acceptance and education.
Below is a short, non-exhaustive guide to pronouns. To find out more about how to use pronouns correctly, you can visit 'Amnesty'.
This year, London’s Pride march will be followed by a four-week festival of community-produced events. Applications for the Pride parade on July 2 and festival events are now open on the Pride in London website.
For a more extensive list of Pride events that you can get involved in this year, please visit Pride Events 2022.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with the topics of sexuality, self-identification, or simply want to know more, there are many free resources, services and platforms online. Some offer free helplines and therapy such as:
Or if you prefer websites, accounts or apps dedicated to these topics, here are a few useful links below:
Quist App - Quist is a free app for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones that brings lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and HIV/AIDS history to life.
In an age that offers endless sources, platforms and availability of information and education on the topics of sexuality, pride and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, there is no excuse not to get involved and stand up for what is right - equality for all.