It’s Pride month guys, and we are just as excited about as you are! Pride has become increasingly popular all over the world, with millions of people flooding the streets of cities such as London, New York, LA, San Francisco, Paris, Berlin, and hundreds more to support and celebrate gay rights. With the allyship movement also growing year on year, we ask, do we still need a pride month?
Well, spoiler alert: the answer is yes. But why?
1) Transphobia is still everywhere
Trans people are still massively struggling for their basic rights. Things like being able to have your gender on your driving license or passport is something that can be a really long and difficult process for trans people. Being able to use a bathroom, walk home, use public transport or go to work feeling safe is something that most people are lucky enough to take for granted, but for trans people, all of these can still be a source of fear. It is 2019, and it has ONLY JUST been declassified as a disorder by the World Health Organisation sooooooo we think it is definitely still necessary.
2) LGBT+ rights are still under attack across the globe
When Brunei made being gay a crime punishable by death earlier in 2019, it was a pretty harsh reminder of what LGBT+ people go through all over the world in the continued fight for the basic right to love the people they want to love. Even in the UK, a teacher who wanted to teach about LGBT+ relationships in school received death threats from parents in the local community just shows how far society still has to go to achieve true equality.
3) Violence against trans people continues to happen
Recently, the third trans woman of colour was found murdered in Dallas, Texas alone this year. The death of Chynal Lindsey only shows just how much more at risk trans people are of being injured or killed by violence, and for trans people of colour that risk is higher still. Violence against trans people happens all across the world on a daily basis, and the high rate in one city in America reinforces just how much action is necessary.
4) LGBT+ young people are still at an increased risk of being homeless
Coming out can be a really difficult process. For some, it can even mean losing their families, friends, job, and homes. LGBT+ Youth are 26% more likely to be homeless than their straight cis-gendered peers. If pride can help increase the awareness, understanding and tolerance of LGBT+ issues, as well as the number of people who feel safe in coming out, then hopefully this number will get lower.
5) Homophobia/biphobia and transphobia is still everywhere, even if you don’t see it
There is still homophobia and discrimination everyday all the time, even if it is not out in the open. Like, do you know how often same sex couples get mistaken for siblings, business partners or best friends?! Also, people still stare, all the time. Even if the people who stare are not screaming homophobic slurs in the street, the stare says everything it needs to say.
6) Basic rights are still a subject of debate
Some basic rights such as the right to marry, have children or follow a religion are still being debated every single day. Even in countries where all these things are technically legal, it does not stop LGBT+ people being discriminated against in real life. Everyone should have a basic right to do these things, and have these aspects of their lives be accepted all over the world.
7) Visibility for some groups is dwindling
Everyone has probably at least heard of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Whilst it is a huge leap forward that a show about queer culture has won a collection of Emmy awards and is popular around the world, it is only a tiny part of gay culture, and other groups are waaay less visible in mainstream culture. For example, when was the last time you saw an ace person on TV? Or can you name more than one openly LGBT+ politician?
8) Being an ally is more than it is right now
One thing to remember about being a straight ally is that it is so much more than following drag queens on social media and carrying a rainbow flag at pride. If you are interested in being a better ally, try watching some documentaries on YouTube about LGBT+ history and the struggle for rights. The more you understand what LGBT+ people have gone through and continue to deal with every day, the more you can know how to support them.
Whether you are going to a Pride Parade near you this year or not, and whether that is as an LGBT person or an ally, Pride is still super important to all the people who attend. If you are straight, why not read up on how to be the best ally you can be in this article here.
9) Forgetting is not an option
As much as Pride is a fun event that is often the highlight of many LGBT+ and straight ally calendars, it is also a time when the gay community can reflect and remember the people and the issues that came before them, and celebrate and pursue a right to exist without persecution. Pride means that LGBT+ issues remain visible and talked about so that equality can get closer every single day, and rights are never taken away again.
10) Love should always be celebrated
As much as Pride is about all of the things above such LGBT+ history and current issues, it is also just an awesome celebration of love, identity, uniqueness, queer culture and equality. Everyone who wants to support or be a part of queer culture is given a place at Pride, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. In a world where everything seems pretty damn negative, THAT is something worth celebrating, and so so worth continuing.
Happy Pride Month, from everyone at Ditch the Label!
If you are thinking of coming out or have questions about your sexuality, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here.