June is LGBT Pride Month and festivities happen all over the world. Parades are the most popular and many people travel to find the one they desire to participate in. Of course supporting the LGBT community all year long is very important because the culture is just important as any other culture in the world.
The history of LGBT Pride started when the Stonewall Riots happened on June 28th, 1969. The police riots at the Stonewall Inn triggered the institutionalized oppression of the LGBT community. This riot started the movement for LGBT civil rights protest and the forming of advocacy groups. Gay pride marches first took place in 1970 in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Pride month has many meanings to the LGBT community. It gives us a chance to be heard, connect with allies, enjoy our culture and our lives. A chance to be free, a chance to be who we are regardless of what society says. A lot of preparation goes into the details of every pride parade and celebration.
Over time, the parades and celebrations have gotten more elaborate and more fun. It seems like more parades are planned in various cities than ever before. The increase of LGBT allies has also increased because more people are realizing that the LGBT community deserves rights and protection just like other communities.
There are some other ways to celebrate pride month, for instance supporting the LGBT youth centers. These centers are usually underfunded which means they cannot provide the proper help and activities for the LGBT youth. Support doesn’t just mean monetary, it also means volunteering time and skills to make a difference in a youth’s life.
People seem to focus on marriage equality a lot, which is extremely important, but LGBT youth homelessness is just as important. Many times when kids “come out” to their parents, family, and friends, they get kicked out of the house and end up living on the street. Being there for them in any way will show them support and that there are other people who care.
Supporting LGBT-friendly businesses is another way to celebrate pride month because these businesses are our allies. The believe in our culture and what we stand for with human and civil rights. These businesses will accommodate the transgender members with bathrooms that aren’t gender specific, they will also enforce that workplace discrimination against the LGBT community will not be tolerated.
Getting tested for STDs is another way to support our community. Knowing your status and having safe sex is very important to keep our community healthy and able to enjoy your lives. Supporting LGBT artist, whether it is fine art, music, television and web series, drag shows or any other LGBT businesses, will help grow the togetherness of our community and create a stronger bond. We have a unique culture and we should be extremely proud of what has been accomplished over the years. Just remember that the members of the LGBT community are very proud of who we are and we will celebrate it any chance we get. Complete with music, dancing, drag, rainbows and all!