A very brief history of Gay Pride
In the face of the shame and social stigma thrown by by those who misunderstand or refuse to accept, Gay Pride has bolstered the LGBT rights movements throughout the world: to affirm the dignity, promote the equal rights, and increase the visibility of the LGBT people.
Ranging from the solemn to the carnival-like, pride events are typically held during June, the LGBT Pride Month, or some other period that commemorates a turning point in a country’s LGBT history.
Pride parades have become the most popular vehicle for showcasing Gay Pride, but the history of the Pride Parade comes from less celebratory roots.
The spark that started gay pride
On June 28, 1969, a riot broke out at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in downtown Manhattan. Police had been known to raid the club from time to time, but this time, the patrons fought back that night.
A protest broke out, police and community members clashed through the night, and the riots lasted for a week.
In 1970, the Christopher Street Liberation Day March was organized to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. It was the very first pride event.
Fred Sargeant, a man who attended the event, wrote a first-person account of the march. In hindsight, he observed that there were “no floats, no music, no boys in briefs.”
Instead, they held signs and banners, and chanted: “Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.” Soon, commemorative marches in other cities started to spring up.
Gay pride in modern times
Over the years, the pride march has evolved into the annual pride parade, and the tradition soon spread to various parts of the globe.
The modern-day pride parade includes dance parties, “best in drag” contests, creative floats, and celebrity appearances. It is an unabashed celebration of gender diversity and sexual freedom with the LGBT community on full display.
For some, however, the pride parade is a bitter representation of everything that is wrong with the LGBT community. They would argue that pride parades are doing nothing to change the stereotypes straight America has of LGBT folk.
For a group exhausted of being marginalized, the pride parade has become yet another thing the LGBT community has to defend.
The importance of gay pride
Pride parades are important because there is still a lot of work to be done. There is still a lack of equality, and there are still plenty of people who are afraid of coming out.
The jovial and uninhibited nature of a parade can inspire courage in the oppressed and in those still living in fear.
The pride parade teaches us as a society to live with and celebrate diversity. It shows us that we can move away from rigid gender binaries and closer to a more inclusive gender spectrum.
Gay pride is a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward LGBT people, and the pride parade is all about one simple thing: acceptance. Until the hatred stops, the pride parades will continue to show the world that it’s not right to be prejudiced.