What Makes Pride Month So Important?

What Makes Pride Month So Important?

Pride Month is drawing to a close. Celebrations and parades have been had, colours have been flown, and people have been reminded about the thousands of queer people throughout history who have influenced human civilisation. This year's Pride month is one of optimism, gratefulness, and perhaps a sober reflection on how much still needs to be done for LGBT acceptance worldwide.

However, through all this, it's very easy to lose sight of why Pride Month is important and why queer and non-queer people must acknowledge the celebration. In order not to lose sight of just how important pride month and its attendant celebrations are, I'll try to outline exactly why this month, and its history, is important to queer people all over the world.

How Did Pride Month Start?

First off, Pride Month didn't just happen. Queer people didn't just come together one day to decide in June being Gay Pride Month. Something led to it. The roots of the Gay Pride celebration in June can be found in the oppression queer people often suffered in the past. 

June is Pride Month precisely because it coincides with the Stonewall Uprising, which many say was the catalyst of the great Gay Liberation Movement that gave birth to Pride month. The Stonewall Uprising took place in June of 1969 and kicked off when police raided a popular gay bar in N.Y.C.'s West Village, The Stonewall Inn.

Raids like this were popular at the time, but this time the queer people in the bar said that they had had enough, and decided to fight back. Many people are rumoured to have thrown the first punch during the riots, but one thing is certain; the police didn't expect the pushback they got. The fight spilled into the street, and the Stonewall Uprising kicked off.

The next year, a parade in honour of queer people was held in New York in honour of the first anniversary of the riots. The success of this parade kicked off hundreds of yearly parades in different cities across the world, and just like that, Pride Month was born.

How Is Pride Month Celebrated?

Today, people celebrate Pride Month for different reasons. Some say they celebrate Pride Month because they are queer people, and without the sacrifice of queer people at Stonewall, there wouldn't have been a Gay Liberation Movement, and without the Gay Liberation Movement, they might not enjoy the freedoms they enjoy today. 

In a way, Pride Month is a reminder for them to cherish the freedoms they have now, as it was fought for by many others. It's also a way for people to understand that the fights for queer liberation they pick up today aren't for them alone but for thousands (or millions) of queer people who may enjoy the fruits of their labour down the years.

For others, Pride Month is about supporting friends and family who happen to be queer. The experiences of queer people with their families, even in countries as liberal as America, can sometimes be very brutal. 

Many have been disowned, shunned, and abandoned by their families just because they happen to be queer. For many, Pride Month is a time to reach out to queer family members and reassure them that their identities are valid and authentic, and they can always rely on family to come through for them.

It doesn't matter what you celebrate Pride Month for. All that matters is that the month is celebrated by centring queer people, their experiences, and the fight for their liberation worldwide. Happy Pride Month!

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