Pride Month: When The Fight For Equal Rights Began!

Every year in June, the world celebrates Pride month. Dedicating it to the LGBTQ+ community and their right to live a dignified life. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the “1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan”. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the celebration is flexible.

Pride is about people coming together, to show and celebrate how far gay rights have come and how much is still left to achieve.Pride month is about equality, teaching acceptance, education in pride history and above all, “love.” During this month, we educate others and ourselves about how damaging homophobia is and why we need to get rid of it. It’s about being proud of who you are no matter who you love.

In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

Why in June? June is marked as the month for the first time in 2000 when the then US President Bill Cllinton issued a presidential proclamation designating the month. But why June ? The answer dates back to 1969, New York City. In 1960s, the police raid Manhattan’s gay bar followed a set template -cops would storm in, threaten and beat up staffs and visitors. They would then wake them up on the streets and arrest them. There was no resistance.

On June28,1969 everything changed. At dawn cops raided Stonewall Hill, a heaven for New York’s queer community. For the first time the patrons resisted, fought back against the police station leading to riots.
Despite having been torn apart in clashes, Stonewall Inn reopened at dusk. More supporters poured in amid reverberating slogans. The cops returned. They beat the crowd, used tear gas to disperse them.
Although queer rights movement did not started at Stonewall Inn, it launched the a new era of resistance and revolution. It stood for the community’s right against oppressive laws and uncompromised religious values.
Visibility, acceptance and legal protections for LGBTQ+ people are at the core of Pride Month Celebration. Apart from U.S, members of several countries including the U.K, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand mark the month as Pride Month.

Global Pride Day 2021
Just like every year, Global Pride Day will be celebrated on June 28.The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the riots held by members of the LGBT community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969.

There are usually colourful parades, concerts and marches across the world. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic is still hovering around, many will celebrate it online.
From 1969 until now, LGBTQ folks and allies have been fighting hard to give the community the right to marry, that right to adopt children, to start families, to fight discrimination, hate speech, and hate crimes, and to simply allow queer folks to exist. While we acknowledge the progress we’ve made, we also need to be realistic and remember that we still have a long way to go.Here’s hoping that the world will soon accept love and lovers without discrimination. Happy Pride Month!
India on LGBTQ

On September 6, 2018, the SC ruled that consensual homosexual acts would no longer constitute a crime. In  its judgment the court stated that consensual homosexual sex could not be a crime under the Indian Constitutional scheme.

The historic move reversed Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which was a legacy from British colonial rule. The change was welcome by Indian and global LGBTQ+ communities as a step towards acceptance and equal rights.

This marked the end of the era of discrimination, hatred, isolation at the legal level because of their sexual orientation, gender identity. But true and complete freedom is yet to be achieved. It can only be achieved when all the countrymen will accept it wholeheartedly and start loving every citizen as their friend. The effect of the judgement not only be seen in India only but in the other countries too for whom India will be an inspiration and will force them to look back again at their laws and think for the rights of LGBTQ community at large.

– Radha Agrawal

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