With the beginning of June drawing closer, we start to prepare ourselves for the Texas heat; and if you’re part of the LGBTQ community or an ally, that also means gearing up for PRIDE month!
The gay rights movement has flourished and grown drastically over the span of the last twenty years. Many milestones have been reached, from the repeal of DADT to marriage equality, the LGBTQ community has won many small and large victories over the years.
Pride allows us to celebrate not only these victories, but also gives us a chance to celebrate a newly gained visibility that was not granted to us a couple of decades ago. Pride is celebrated all through June in major cities throughout the country.
There are drag shows, parades, festivals and parties celebrated in rainbow technicolor to the soundtracks of Madonna, Gaga, Cher and any other pop icon that has supported the community through the years.
Of course, there are many common misconceptions regarding Pride festivities. For me, the most common I’ve heard is “If you want equal rights or people to respect you, then you shouldn’t walk around mostly naked grinding on each other in a parade.”
Now see, the problem here is the double standard placed on the LGBTQ community. There are plenty of heterosexual events throughout the year in which straight men and women run around dancing in bikinis or shirtless.
A person’s personal choice to dress a certain way doesn’t make them less deserving of equal rights or respect. Pride – at its core – is meant to celebrate all the members of the LGBTQ community, regardless of who they love, how they dress, or how they identify.
For many, dressing conservatively in their everyday lives becomes a way to blend and live a heteronormative life to avoid the problems and stigmas associated with being LGBTQ; so Pride allows them a time of the year to celebrate their queerness and feel accepted.
Of course, another argument during Pride month is “well straight people don’t have Straight Pride so why do you need Gay Pride?”
This – of course – is a silly question. Straight people have never been discriminated against on the basis of their heterosexuality, so the need for straight pride doesn’t exist.
If the LGBTQ community hadn’t had to fight for the right to simply exist in public places, or for marriage rights, or for the right to have a secure job without their sexuality allowing others to question their ability to work, then we wouldn’t need Pride; Alas, history has been written, so we get to celebrate, wave rainbow flags, and enjoy the rights that we have worked so hard to achieve.
With all that out of the way, let’s remember to have a fun, safe, and happy pride month. Let’s remember that though booty shorts and glitter are all part of the magic, that many people have lost their life on the way here and there’s still a long way to go.
Take care of each other this Pride month. Happy Pride, everyone!
Guest Contributor: Chandelier Kahlo
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