Pride, what is it? It’s a quality or state of being proud, proud of who you are as a person, it’s a quality to have a positive stance in opposition to discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride Month, which is celebrated in June every year, is a month-long celebration where the LGBTQ+ community celebrates their liberation, equality, dignity, and visibility as a social group. It’s a celebration of unapologetically being yourself and loving whosoever you want.
But the path until here where they can freely celebrate their liberation was a long one and to say it was challenging would be an understatement. Nonetheless, the oneness that gay people as a community possessed and still do is the reason why the LGBTQ+ rights movement has reached the point where it stands firmly today.
History of Heterosexism
Heterosexism or Homophobia has always been a part of this world, since the time unknown. People belonging to the gay community and other minority gender groups have often been subjected to violence, harassment, and unfairness. Many believe that homophobia first began in the middle-ages and by the time of the Renaissance it got even worse.
Coming to the modern time of the early 20th century people of the gay community still were looked down upon, one such nation among many others who did so was the United States. Homosexuality was still considered sodomy and illegal in the States, and homosexual people were often punished or were charged with heavy fines. Such oppression and mistreatment were a daily happening for them, just because being ‘homosexual’ was forbidden.
Still, there were plenty of brave people who revolted against this idiocy and the atrocities that were inflicted upon them. The Stonewall riot was the one riot that was like a turning point for the gay community of the U.S. and eventually the whole world.
By the early 20th century many gay bars were opened in the states and it was like a haven, a safe space for homophiles but to their dismay, those bars were often raided by the police officers in the name of ‘illegal’ activities taking place in the bar or any other petty reason. Homophiles were often beaten and harassed by the police for just being themselves.
Who made the Gay Pride Flag?
It was in 1976 when Gilbert Baker an American Artist, Gay rights activist, and drag queen realized that flags are a sign of revolt, revolution, and power. Thus, he designed the first rainbow flag in the year 1978 with the urge of his friend Harvey Mike, one of the first gay officials in the United States.
The different colors in the LGBTQ+ flag typify different meanings. While red stands for life, orange is for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. Now two more colors have been added black for diversity and brown for inclusivity.
Today this rainbow flag is more than just a flag. It gives people hope and grit to unabashedly be themselves, and to unapologetically love whosoever they want!
Stonewall Riot 1969, that changed millions of lives
In the early morning hours of 28th June 1969 certain realizations hit the homophiles hard, they realized that no one should quietly abide and live on with the stigma associated with their sexual orientation. No one should quietly endure injustice. Thus a huge riot broke out in front of the Stonewall Inn in New York City which came to be known as the Stonewall riot. A black transgender woman named Marsha P. Johnson triumphantly led the riot.
On June 28th, 1969 nine police officers raided the Stonewall Inn where people with diverse sexual orientations were present. They were fed up with this whole every-second-day raiding on their havens and it’s on that day when they decided it’s about time to take some actions. As the police started arresting the bartenders and the gay people, they refused to comply and smashed the bottles on their (police’s) heads.
Outside the bar, hundreds of people came in support and continued rioting. The officers believed to have locked themselves up inside the Inn but the rage inside the angry mob was so much so that they set the bar on fire. However, other troops of officers came as soon as possible to rescue the locked-up cops and they managed to cool the situation off for some time.
The troops of officers were able to disband the angry mob but the rage inside the queer community still did not die. This riot continued till the 1st of July 1969, demanding the rights that the gay and other minority gender people deserved since day one.
The success of the Stonewall Riots
While the Stonewall riot may seem like an act of hooliganism, it sure left an efficacious impact, not just in the States but also the whole world. This riot was a beginning of a greater change. It not just brought the Modern-day Gay rights movement but also focused on the rights of others who were looked down upon because of their sexual and gender preference.
In the eventual years with the removal of section 377 in India, we can say that the Stonewall riot paved a way for other nations to break the shackles of oppression and subjection. People often used to consider homosexuality as a disease but one should never forget that there is no cure for what is not a disease.
Why June is celebrated as Pride Month?
On the Stonewall riot’s one-year anniversary the first-ever Gay Pride Parade was organized and since then till now every year the month of June is considered as a month of celebrating diversity. Every year this parade grew and grew and now has become what we know as PRIDE. Through the Stonewall riot, the Gay rights movement gained mainstream recognition that continues to this day.
Global Pride Day is celebrated on June 28 every year
Thus, the mystery behind why Global Pride Day is celebrated on June 28 every year is out. It was on this day in 1969 that the first-ever Queer revolt took place in the Stonewall Inn of New York City, leading to a forward-looking change for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community all around the globe.
LOVE IS NEVER WRONG, HAPPY PRIDE EVERYONE!