Pigments of Inclusivity: Reasons Why We Celebrate Pride Month
We know it’s June when corporations start plastering rainbows on their products: some to show solidarity and support with the LGBTQIA+ movement, and some to capitalize on it. But why do we really celebrate Pride? Why are streets filled with rainbow flags particularly during the month of June? These are some of the questions we will be answering as we unfold the origin and purpose of Pride month.
In Pride-related posts, you often come across the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, and yes, that’s the catalyst that gives us the annual celebration of Pride Month. In contrast to the Pride we are familiar with, the pioneer Pride celebration was a protest against police harassment and persecution of the members of the community. The tipping point of the movement was the stonewall uprising. “Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village was a gay club and refuge for many in the LGBTQ community. On June 28, 1969, the New York City police raided the inn, sparking a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents with the police. The riot involved hundreds of people and led to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park.” (Lee, 2021 pp 11). After these tragic happenings, it became an annual event to go there and show resistance, and demand for space in society. Gradually, it transformed into “celebrations” after states and countries recognized the LGBTQIA+ community and started to create policies that catered to them.
In the context of the Philippines, we still have a long way to go from the recent safe spaces initiatives, media representations, revamp of conservative policies to unjustly resolved cases of harassment and discrimination and the unending debate of the SOGIE Bill. In the progress of Pride in the Philippines, it’s safe to say that it’s a spectrum because there are moments where you’ll appreciate it, instances where you’ll have your reservations or worse, instances that even anger you. That’s why it’s important to know why we are celebrating Pride. We celebrate Pride so that the queer community can take back their rightful story. Our Queer community demands for the space that was taken away from us by our unchosen oppressors, colonizers, patriarchal leaders, or anyone who thinks that rights are debatable. We don’t celebrate pride because it’s fun and convenient but rather we celebrate it to make living for our brothers and sisters and non-binary friends fun and convenient. The community calls for wider and stronger support from society. Be informed through verified pages like Metro Manila pride, Bahaghari, and other personalities who educate and advocate for LGBTQIA+. Furthermore, use your platforms to reach out to advocate for equality, and embody the values you intend to fight for.
Just like how colorful the rainbow is, we need more colors to join us and we need your pigments to complete the picture of an inclusive, loving, and diverse community. Pride is for everyone because everyone deserves to be happy. We wish everyone to be joyful as they want to be. Let’s start creating safe spaces within our family, friends, school, and community hoping that it’ll translate to national inclusivity. Reach out and hear the beautiful stories of revival from our brave survivors of harassment and discrimination. Let’s start creating a community where coming out is not necessary, pronouns are part of the norm, and a world that always chooses to love.
You are the reason why we celebrate Pride. Happy Pride Month!
Here’s a quick guide to address gender-neutral “they/them” from USC Edu:
Learn more at Pronouns by USC Edu
University of Southern California. USC. (n.d.). https://lgbtrc.usc.edu/trans/transgender/pronouns/.
Why Do We Celebrate Pride Month in June and LGBT History Month in October?
University of Central Florida News | UCF Today. (2021, June 9). https://www.ucf.edu/news/why-do-we-celebrate-pride-month-in-june-and-lgbt-history-month-in-october/.