June is set to be LGBT Pride month, in commemoration of the Stonewall riots that took place in 1969 in Manhattan. Pride as an anniversary of Stonewall started by Brenad Howard, a bisexual woman who also introduced the tradition of a week-long festival with LGBT events.
Gay & Lesbian Pride Month was affirmed officially by Bill Clinton in 2000, and Barack Obama
declared June to be LGBT Pride Month from 2009 to 2016.
Sometimes straight and cis people ask us: what do we have to be proud of during Pride month? Does it make sense to simply be proud of your gender or sexuality?
There are actually many reasons you have to feel proud during June, and all year round!
- Because you won’t be silent in a world that wants you to be silent.
It takes much courage to speak up for your rights and identity in a hostile society in which you aren’t considered to be the norm. Demanding justice and equality with your voice and actions is not only a selfish thing that you do for yourself, but also a political act of resistance that benefits your entire community.
- Because people may hate on you just because you are who you are and you love who you love but you refuse to let them win.
It’s hard to live in fear that people might not like you because you are who you are. People who might be your family, friends, and colleagues. No one will pretend that it’s easy. But don’t let their disapproval get you down! You are amazing!
- Because you are a fighter.
And because you won’t give up on your joy and place in society that you deserve!
- Because you are a lover.
Because you do nothing wrong when you just wish to love who you love!
- Because you’ve been through a lot and you deserve to celebrate your existence.
Many days may be a struggle, but every now and then you are more than allowed to take a break and appreciate the great things that will come.
- Because you believe in the power of community.
Because you have a sense of belonging, of accomplishing things together, you understand the importance of creating safe spaces for every individual experience and expression within your community!
- Because you are the change you want to be in the world.
You are part of the chain of people who stood up against injustice and oppression in their own way. You are writing history by refusing to conform and by being true to yourself!
- Because you are tolerant and treat people the way you want to be treated.
LGBTQIA+ people have experienced oppression and know what intolerance and inequality feels like, therefore we don’t allow other forms of oppression directed to people around us, and we check our privilege when we might become the oppressors, offering support and solidarity instead!
- Because you are an inspiration to others.
Remember of the first queer person you met and saw doing great stuff and bringing joy to you every time you met. You might be that person for another young queerling, your life, ideas and choices inspire everyone who meets and loves you!
- Because you are yourself.
And that is an act of resistance!