It’s the 21st Century, so people don’t raise eyebrows when they hear about an LGBTQ movement, right? Wrong. People still raise eyebrows, and there are still a lot of controversies around Pride March and the LGBTQ community. That’s why Pride Marches are so dangerous in a lot of countries.
How did we come to this point? In this article, we delve into the history of the Pride March and the possible reasons why being LGBTQ is still a controversial topic.
Pride March Perceptions
Pride March is also known as the Pride parade, and it’s a kind of celebration involving the LGBTQ community. It happens in June in the United States. Pride Parade also happens in other parts of the world at different times of the year.
The LGBTQ community consists of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer folks. The Pride celebration is meant to show the world that, even though most people consider them different, these people are proud of who they are.
Surprisingly, Pride Marches are not something new — they started in 1969. All these years, the LGBTQ has always held these celebrations. However, every time there are such celebrations, people tend to debate them. That’s why there are still a lot of controversies about the Pride March to this day.
Some people consider these marches an excuse for the LGBTQ community to party. However, unlike in the past, when it was taboo to self-identify with the LGBTQ community, today, people are not afraid to self-identify as such. All thanks to these marches!
The Pride March might seem to some as an excuse to party, but the marches have brought the LGBTQ community close to cultural equity over the years.
Historical Background of Pride March
Pride March commemorates the Stonewall riots back on June 28, 1969, where there were riots and clashes between gay people and the police.
Before the Stonewall riots, gay people did not broadcast their sexuality. However, after the riots, a gay rights movement was born that sparked many members of the gay community and their supporters.
In 1970, which is considered the first anniversary of the Pride March, several hundred marched at Christopher’s street in Greenwich village. At first, these marches encountered protests and were sparsely attended, perhaps because of the outlandish costumes that some of the gay people wore.
In 1978 the Pride March or Gay Pride symbol, the rainbow flag, made its debut. The rainbow flag consisted of hot pink symbolizing sexuality, orange for healing, red for life, green for nature, yellow for sun, indigo for harmony, blue for art, and violet or purple for spirit. Now, Pride Marches are always a colorful event that involves bright flags made by the members of the LGBTQ community.
At first, the pride marches were held to help the members of the LGBTQ community come out of the closet and be proud of who they are. However, as the years passed and because of the rise of HIV/AIDS, the march started to involve themselves in political and social activism as well.
The Pride March celebrations started getting more acceptance from the straight community and even from politicians as the years went by. The march also started engaging in political and social affairs, thus bringing their views into the spotlight too.
LGBTQ Community Involvement
Despite the countless marches and gay talks, some straight people still despise the members of the LGBTQ community. Homophobic folks not only refuse to accept members of the LGBTQ community, but they also fear or extremely hate them.
The hatred and discrimination have caused almost half of the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender people to hide their sexuality and gender identities. Some LGBT people have experienced inequality treatment in health centers, too, because they are members of the LGBTQ community.
This hatred and contempt towards the LGBT are usually due to negative stereotypes surrounding gay people. The consideration that all gays, bisexuals, or lesbians are promiscuous is a stereotype that most people believe. This stereotype was especially common before the 1970s, and many people blamed LGBT people for spreading AIDS.
Another stereotype is that all lesbians are masculine and all gay people are feminine. This is also just a stereotype a lot of people believe in.
Throughout the years the LGBT people have faced severe discrimination in all sectors, including education, work, health centers, and even families.
Almost every member of the LGBT community has faced some type of discrimination in their day-to-day lives. For instance, two in every five members have hidden their identity when studying at universities for fear of being discriminated against.
Also, half of the LGBT members have failed to show their family members who they are for fear of discrimination or rejection. This is one of the key issues Pride is fighting against.
Usually, discrimination comes from homophobic people who hate and despise LGBT members. Unfortunately, some homophobic people are from the families of LGBT people, too. Worse still, some countries consider same-sex attraction a crime. Sometimes, one could be jailed or killed for choosing to speak about their sexual preference.
Press and Social Media Engagement
The press and the media at large have been actively involved in airing Pride Marches through the years. They also aired interviews, gay rights talks, and other content to bring the LGBT community into the limelight. Also, members of the gay and lesbian community have been represented in movies more than ever since 1990.
The media has also covered gay rights, especially when such issues have been politicized. For example, in 2014, the networks from Russia to Aljazeera aired a hot debate on gay rights concerning the anti-gay Sochi Olympics.
The press and media involvement in the gay people issues has allowed many people to confidently come out of their closet and be confident about their sexuality. For instance, internationally, when gay people witness the success of the Pride March, they are motivated and encouraged to stop hiding their sexuality.
Also, the involvement of the press and social media has helped to minimize discrimination and abuse by educating people more about the LGBT community and all there is to it.
Despite their sexual identity, anyone should be treated with love, dignity, and support. Apart from their sexual preferences, LGBT members are valuable people to the community. If we only choose to look at their gender or sexuality choices, we may miss a lot of what they have to offer.
We strive to ensure that equality is met and that everyone is treated with the dignity they deserve as human beings. Fortunately, anyone can support and be an ally of the LGBT community. Parents, friends, co-workers — you don’t have to be homosexual to support them.