I have been questioning the meaning of this often thrown about word. What does it mean? Most importantly, what does it mean to me?
I found the following definition on a Google search, it works for me
“confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.”
Further exploration revealed the following on Wikipedia:
“Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements throughout the world.”
The history of the Pride movement has always been intriguing to me. I read much on the subject several years ago, below are a couple of Wikipedia short takes on the subject; as relates to the NYC/American experience, which is sort of the reason we have Pride celebrations today, as well as the Toronto one. I urge anyone who is interested in the fascinating subject to read up on our history a bit.
“The Stonewall riots (also referred to as the Stonewall uprising or the Stonewall rebellion) were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States ”
“Operation Soap was a raid by the Metropolitan Toronto Police against four gay bathhouses in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which took place on February 5, 1981. More than three hundred men were arrested, the largest mass arrest in Canada since the 1970 October crisis,”
WOW! Fifty years since the Stonewall riots. 38 years since the Toronto Police bathhouse raids.
Toronto pride routinely attracts more than 1,000,000 people for many years running. This makes it one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, having only a handful of bigger celebrations in cities such as Sao Paulo, Madrid, New York City and San Francisco.
Pride. It’s roots are firmly in the protest of the treatment of the LGBTQ + population by the establishment/police. The events in NYC 50 years ago were a precursor to the Toronto movement which began in earnest in 1981.
Today’s Pride celebrations are a gigantic corporate sponsored, sequin adorned celebration of our acceptance and integration into mainstream society. It truly didn’t begin that way. It was a protest movement. We have come so far.
Please let us not forget the burdens borne by our predecessors. To them we all owe a great deal of gratitude. Whether or not you are in agreement that what we now have is progress, or simply the heteronormative agenda taking place, we have made immense strides in acceptance. Lessening the shame and social stigma inherent in being apart from societal norms.
Happy Pride Month to all.