June – the colourful month of every year since 1970. The boring streets from all over the world, are painted with rainbow shades, filled with festivities, numerous pride marches, echoes of inspiring slogans, and lots of love. With social media going viral on Pride month tweets, posts, and tags, some of us might be curious to know more about this rainbow month and why it is celebrated particularly in June.
What is Pride Month?
World celebrates “Pride Month” each year in the month of June to celebrate the love of the LGBTQ+ community and their right to live a dignified life. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people come together in parades to remember their struggles against discrimination and social ostracization.
Pride month is all about being proud of yourself no matter whom you love. The most important aspect of Pride month is to educate people about how detrimental their hatred of LGBTQ can be and why we need to accept the people despite their sexual identity. Pride month represents equality, education, acceptance, history, and above all, love.
Why do we celebrate it ?
The history of pride month began in the streets of the USA in the year 1969. The American Constitution then had banned homosexuality, and the police would often raid queer bars and harass their community. On June 28, 1969, the famous gay bar ‘Stonewall Inn’ at the Christopher Street of Manhattan, became the target for the New York police.
The manhandling by the New York police ignited the long pent-up frustration of the LGBTQ+ community leading to full-fledged riots. This served as a trigger for the “Stonewall Riots” which followed the incident and continued for several days changing the world for the better. Hence, this day was marked as an important date in the evolution of modern-day gay rights. To honour the struggles and sufferings of the LGBTQ+ people, Stonewall Inn was declared as a national monument in 2016, by then-President Barack Obama.
World’s first pride parade
On the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots June 28, 1970, people came in together and staged the first Gay Pride march in the world’s history. The march covered 51 blocks of Central Park, chanting the slogan, “Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud”. The day was named “Christopher Street Liberation Day” after the street where the procession was first started.
Eight years after the first parade, an artist Gilbert Baker designed the symbol of pride, the rainbow-striped flag each pride color representing a meaning. (Hot pink – Sex, Red – Life, Orange – Healing, Yellow – Sunlight, Green – Nature, Turquoise – Magic/Art, Indigo – Serenity, Violet – Spirit)
A tiny spark ignited in the streets of New York City has now spread to all the countries of the world and the countries celebrate pride in their unique ways.
Pride month 2021 in India
Though the ancient Indian culture had portrayed homosexuality in its art, temples, and architecture, modern India displayed its support for the LGBTQ+ community through the ‘Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk’ on July 2, 1999. This stirred the people to combat their sexuality rights and today, almost 21 Indian cities host annual pride marches where thousands of people participate.
On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India gave an iconic verdict that left the LGBTQ+ community elated all over the country. The verdict abolished Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, formed under British rule in India, which stated that same-sex sexual intercourse is unnatural and a criminal offense. This was crucial not just for the fundamental rights of individuals but for a more inclusive and harmonious society.
Following this historic event, India celebrated its first pride month in June 2019. Flaunting in colourful attires, waving the rainbow-colored flags, and depicting their messages, the streets of various cities were sprinkled with people celebrating pride and inclusivity. Now, in the year 2021, the pride celebrations may take place online since the country is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Message from Bliss Naturals
The LGBTQ+ people are struggling hard to get equal rights to marry, start families, adopt children, speak, protest against discrimination, and above all the right to exist for who they are. While India has acknowledged a little support to them, we have to accept the fact that we have a long way to go. Let the pride battle continue with compelling, courageous, and colourful spirits. Happy pride month!