June is coming up soon, and it will be Pride Month once again. A month was the LGBTQ community celebrates who they with large and fabulous parades and festivals, filled with live music, inclusive organizations, half-dressed people, love and acceptance for one another and of course drag. But why is the month of June considered Pride Month and not any other month of the year? It is time for a history lesson on the LGBTQ Pride events we know today and why Straight Pride does not need to exist.
In 1969 the solicitation of homosexual relations was an illegal act in New York City, and gay bars were often the only places of refuge for gay men and lesbians as well as other individuals who were considered sexually suspect could socialize in relative safety from public harassment. Many of the bars were, however, subject to regular police harassment. In the early morning hours of Saturday, June 28, 1969, nine policemen entered the Stonewall Inn in NYC, and roughed up many of its patrons; leading to what is known known as the Stonewall riots, a series of violent confrontations between police and gay rights activists outside the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. As the riots progressed, an international gay rights movement was born and the month of June was chosen for LGBTQ Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. One year later on June 28, 1970, people march into New York's Central Park, and the nation's first gay pride parade was underway. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBTQ people have had in the world.
So the need for LGBTQ Pride came out of a culture of oppression, out of the need to validate the existence of a group of individuals whose very being had been the subject of hate. Legislation and question for years and out of the need for these individuals to feel like they have a place in the world that continues to this day to oppress them. Pride was not created as a way to flaunt our gayness to the world but as a way to show the world who we are, what we have done, that we live among our haters, and that we are a resilient and robust community, filled with love and hope for our brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings. Pride Month gives the LGBTQ community a month where hopefully if not just for a short time to not think about the fear they might live with every other month of the year and to insisted probably be able to focus on love, unity and community while living there true and authentic selfies.
Believe me when I say that while our community loves Pride Month because of the sense of freedom and society, it brings us many of us would be just fine if it did not exist and in fact, we would instead it not need to. We would much rather be able to walk out in the streets wherever we are holding the hand of the person we love with our fear of what might happen. We would much rather be able to know that members of our community where not being murdered because of their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. We would much rather not have to worry about what might happen to us or our loved once for living our true and authentic live every day and not just one month possibly only one day a year.
We would much instead be treated with the love, dignity, and respect we so disparity derisive and long for as does every human being. Our need for Pride, the parade, and the festivals is one we gladly give way it did not feel the need to celebrate, validate, advocate, and in many cases fight for our lives every day of the year. All we want it is be able to love who we wish to, do not fear for our lives and to fit into the society that is all around us and until this is our everyday reality the need for LGBTQ Pride events will continue to be a necessity for our community.
And to the straight folks who ask why is there not straight pride? Maybe it’s because there is not a need for one to which you should be glad. You should realize that the only reason that Pride month exist is out of a necessity for the LGBTQ community to feel loved, to belong and to celebrate the very things that so many people have tried to beat out of them all these years.