June Pride Month: this is what you should know

June Pride Month: this is what you should know

Juni is Pride Month: during this month, LGBTQ+ communities around the world celebrate the freedom to be themselves, show who they are and be proud of their identity. Still, there is much to gain in this area: in many countries homosexuality is still illegal. And even in open-minded and seemingly tolerant countries like the UK, violence against the LGBTQ+ community is still part of daily life. Pride Month raises awareness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer rights, as well as other sexual identities, like pansexuality.

The origin of Gay Pride and Pride Month

On 28 June 1969, police officers conducted a raid at Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. Because the people who visit this bar had been bullied and humiliated by the police for years, they decided to fight back this time. The Stonewall riots are a significant turning point in the LGBTQ+ community. It was the first time people fought back against humiliation on a large scale.

The first Gay Pride

Exactly one year later, on 28 June 1970, the first Gay Pride Parade was held in the same neighbourhood in NYC. The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, Great-Britain, Australia and New Zealand organised similar events.

Tip: The Pride parade in London will be held on 11 September 2021.

Who participates in Pride Month?

Pride Month and Gay Prides attract visitors who fall outside the mainstream labels of course, but many heterosexuals visit these events as well. More and more brands create special Pride collections, like Levi’s, Puma, Converse, Versace and Happy Socks, in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Google also participates in this, for example by colouring the streets where Gay Prides are being held in rainbow colours: the symbol of the LGBTQ+ community.

Why is Pride Month so important?

There’s still a long road ahead when it comes to the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. An example: a couple of days ago, at the start of Pride Month, it was announced that in Florida transgender girls aren’t allowed to play sports with the other girls in school. In other conservative states, a similar law was passed. And in no less than seventeen American states, a law is in the works that makes transgender treatments, like hormone treatments and puberty blockers, illegal. According to the FBI, 20% of all hate crimes are crimes against homosexuals.

Gay marriage

The Netherlands is the first country to allow gay and lesbian marriages in 2001. In the twenty years after that, only 28 other countries or areas joined the Netherlands in allowing sex-same marriage. In contrast, 33 countries changed their laws to prevent couples of the same sex from getting married.

Also read: The best dating apps for the LGBTQ+ community

Homosexuality illegal

On this map of the world, you can see exactly where the LGBTQ+ community is criminalised. In most western countries, homosexuality is legal and violence against LGBTQ+ people is charged as a hate crime. But in many African, Middle Eastern, former communist, and most Asian countries, homosexuality is considered wrong or illegal. In Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Jemen and the north of Nigeria, having sex with a person of the same sex is punishable by death. And in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, Brunei and Mauritania, this is a possibility as well. Transgender persons have a difficult time with this as well: in many countries the laws have been adapted, preventing these people from being themselves. These same is happening with the previously mentioned conservative American states.

Violence against the LGBTQ+ community

A study by Out In The Open shows that in some countries, 85% of the LGBTQ+ students don’t feel safe at school and no less than 45% quits their studies because of that. In Brasil, a country where homosexual couples are allowed to marry, no less than 387 LGBTQ+ were murdered and 45 people committed suicide in 2017.

What can you do to support the LGBTQ+ community?

Be kind to your fellow humans. You are never going to agree with everyone. And of course you don’t have to wear rainbow colours if that’s not your thing. But you also don’t have to say anything when someone kisses their lover and you have an opinion about that. Or post something negative if someone identifies as non-binary on social media. Or judge children or adults who wrestle with their identity or sexual orientation, or those who proudly express their identity. Open-mindedness and acceptance: that is what Pride Month is all about.

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