Each year, the month of June is celebrated all over the world as Pride month. This month for all of the LGBTQ community is to speak out about their rights, to celebrate their freedom and liberty to an equally dignified life. It is also time to mark the progress of the past year in raising LGBTQ awareness and remembering those fighting this battle of acceptance. People come together in a display of their love. Massive rallies and processions happen to raise awareness. To feel Pride in their own identifies.
History of pride
The movement for equality first began on 28th June in New York at the Stonewall Inn. When police started raiding all the gay bars in the neighbourhood, the next thing was a full-scale protest against the police by members of the LGBTQ community and allies. It was a turning point in the history of the queer community as it leads to a breakthrough now known and celebrated for the whole month of June. What started in America as a liberation movement gradually became a global phenomenon. For the last few years, pride month gets celebrated with great zeal in the Indian queer community.
The widely adopted flag of the LGBTQ is a rainbow, reflecting the diversity and broad spectrum of the community.
What is the significance of this movement?
The LGBTQ community is a persecuted community. Even in the most advanced and educated of circles, jokes about someone’s sexuality are rampant. Name-calling and treating them with disdain isn’t exactly a rarity. With most of India’s adults unfamiliar with the topic, youngsters have it much harder to come out of their metaphorical ‘closets’ and be openly and unapologetically themselves.
Pride month gives them a chance to meet others like them, to feel not so alone. To feel valid and loved, and supported.
The rules and laws in our country are still far from being equal for all, with the decriminalization of section 377 of the Indian penal code. The government took a step in the right direction. Yet LGBTQ people today aren’t allowed to get legally married; trans people cannot adopt a child. Pride month is a reminder to every one of this community’s strength and resilience. To raise awareness and make sure there comes a day when everyone in India will enjoy equal rights, regardless of their sexuality.
Although this seems like a distant dream, for now, celebrating this community today, honouring their right and showing our support as allies is the way towards a brighter future.