This month is LGBTQI+ Pride Month. In other countries like US UK, many places display rainbow flags, companies have promotions, events, or products “in honor of LGBTQI+ Pride,” and there are cities around the world that have a parade sometime in the month of June. That said, many people don’t know or understand why Pride Month exists and/or the purpose of the parade. Some react with fear and prejudice, some are puzzled as to why it’s necessary, while others think of it as just a big excuse to dress up and party, But LGBTQI+ Pride Month actually has a very specific history and purpose. For many, if not most, in the LGBTQI+ community, it’s a deeply meaningful and moving day that has great significance.
SO WHY ARE THESE EVENTS STILL HAPPENING?
Prejudice, oppression, violence, and death are still, unfortunately, common for people in the LBTQI+ community in the India, United States and across the globe. Many states in the US are continuing to pass legislation to deny the rights of people in this community. In the US, LBTQI+ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual, cis youth because of the continued deep prejudice, hatred, and lack of acceptance they perceive around them.
Around the world, there are laws specifically being passed to deny the rights of LBTQI+ people to live, love, work, receive medical care, go to the bathroom, exercise, and even simply exist. People in this community continue to be subjected to rejection, prejudice, violence, and death, For this reason, Pride Month and the pride parades continue to be deeply important in the continued solidarity, fight for human rights, and visibility of the LGBTQI+ community. Additionally, and equally important, is the label “pride.” For a group of people who are told continuously through laws, religions, media, bullying, and directly that LBTQI+ people are less-than or should not exist, it is deeply psychologically important that there be counter-messaging. Shame is debilitating and can lead to mental illness, addiction, isolation, and death.
It is deeply important that there be a visible, supported, and joyous event telling people of the LBTQI+ community that it is a beautiful, diverse, supported, Land welcome community, and one to be proud to be a member of, and one that deserves the rights and dignities of every human.
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