LGBT Pride Month: Being Proud Of Who You Are
LGBT Pride Month was founded in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969. The actions on this day are “widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States”. From the first anniversary of this day, gay liberation and then LGBT Pride marches and events have taken place to celebrate an evolution towards a more tolerant, then accepting, and now embracing global attitude towards other sexualities then just heterosexual.
What Does LGBT Stand For?
LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Another acronym now used is LGBTQ to include the Queer community.
Why Was LGBT Pride Needed?
Where do I start? This is just a short article, not a book; but there is indisputably a far-reaching history of discrimination against people who identify as different to heterosexual/straight, and to those who identify outside of the gender binary. In fact, the earliest referenced condemnation of homosexual acts is from 1075 BCE where soldiers faced castration for engaging in gay sex. There’s a handy page on Wiki if you want to read the entire LGBT history timeline. You’ll see there’s rather a lot of discrimination towards homosexual people and acts from that very early time all the way up to present day.
The Stonewall Riots in June 1969 which kick-started LGBT Pride clearly shows history taking a new direction.
Although the start of LGBT Pride was an encouraging start towards changing attitudes – tolerance-acceptance-embracement – it definitely wasn’t the end of discrimination against homosexual people. Sadly. You’ll be able to see plenty of condemnatory laws and rules on that timeline I mentioned above, even after 1969 had been and gone. If you need further evidence of ongoing discrimination towards the LGBT community you only have to look at the international struggle to legalise gay marriage, and that’s before we even start talking about granting global rights to create or adopt children in gay relationships.
For evidence much closer to home, at least for me, it has to be the troubles faced by the LGBT Pride Brighton parade just last year in 2015. After waiting over an hour and a half for the celebrations to begin, then curiously searching for news on Twitter, it became apparent that there was a bomb scare. It was just a little too coincidental a location and date to not assume it was part of an anti-gay attack – whether a large movement or a couple of narrow-minded individuals. It really brought it home to my partner and I, sat there on Brighton seafront waiting for the festivities to begin, just what sort of attitudes are still prevalent in society and how sad anti-gay people really are. And this was in the UK, never mind an even less cosmopolitan or tolerant (although I use that phrase cautiously) country. Also, this attempt to thwart celebrations was absolutely nothing compared with what non-hetero folk have had to put up with for centuries. At least it’s not illegal to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or other-identified any more.
Is LGBT Pride still needed? Does it still serve a purpose? Yes. Very much so.
Why Are Transgender People Included In A Campaign About Sexuality – not Gender?
This is a good question! I believe that transgender people have been included in LGBT Pride because attitudes towards trans people and non-binary people can be (and have been) as discriminatory and hate-fuelled as those towards LGB people. It’s a case of standing up in defence of, as well as in celebration of, any difference to the accepted norms in society. It’s about saying, “this is who I am, that is who you are – whoever and however we all are, it’s ok. It’s great!”
This is the case whether the difference to accepted ‘norms’ is to do with sexuality, gender or anything else.
How I’m Celebrating LGBT Pride 2016
Aside from being my usual loud and liberated self? I’ll be continuing my sex writing, sex toy reviews and open-armed embracement of every difference I can find in the world of sexuality, gender and relationships. I also have exciting plans to attend a large Pride event over the summer. I absolutely loved Pride Brighton 2015 and I simply must experience another one this year! The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. I’ve never felt anything like it.
Where Are The Largest UK-based LGBT Pride Festivals 2016?
London Pride 25th & 26th June
Bristol Pride 9th July
Northern Pride (Newcastle) 15th-17th July
Belfast Pride 6th August
Brighton Pride 5th-7th August
Cardiff Pride 13th August
Glasgow Pride 20th & 21st August
Manchester Pride 28th-31st August
Are LGBT Pride Festivals Suitable For Children?
Yes! The atmosphere of liberated, non-repressed happy adults is one which I believe is healthy for children to see and be a part of. Just as with any event, there are areas which are not appropriate for children, such as up at the bars, in pubs after ‘family’ hours, in 18+ areas (which are clearly designated at the events) and near any people who aren’t acting in a child-friendly manner. There were children watching and cheering on the main parade at Brighton Pride 2015, then enjoying the rides and early concert in the gated area – however children were kept away from the large boozing tents and taken home before they fell asleep from all the excitement in the later hours of the day.
Basically, just use your usual parental intuition and sense.
I’m taking the kids to a Pride event this year, and we’re all very excited.
LGBT Pride Month News & Shopping
There’s a hashtag specifically for sharing news, awareness and relevant events for LGBT Pride Month: #LGBTPrideMonth. Why not click through and discover the fun. You could even be motivated to make plans to attend your very first Pride celebration.
If you’re looking for a fantastic gay adult shop then check out CloneZone who regularly run amazing special offers & discounts.
Sh Women’s Erotic Emporium is fantastic for people looking for lesbian sex toys (use discount code CARA10 for 10% off your order) and of course everyone is always welcome to check out the selection of online sex shops in my sidebar to the right.
So… It’s OK To be Gay?
Most emphatically: YES. Celebrate the way you are, whether that’s gay, bisexual, lesbian, straight, transgender, non-gendered, non-binary, asexual… stand up and be proud. You have an intrinsic right to live your life the way that you are, without fear of repression, restriction, control, discrimination, violence or hate.
Happy LGBT Pride Month!
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