Pride is a global, annual celebration of LGBT folks and an acknowledgement of the social and political struggles of both the past and the present. Cities across the world hold parades and other events to celebrate pride month.
The month of June commemorates the Stonewall riots that happened at the end of June 1969. The uprising was a series of violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT community after a police raid in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC. The riots are widely considered to be the event that lead to the gay liberation movement.
The ‘Mother of Pride’, Brenda Howard, coordinated the first LGBT Pride marches in 1970, which were held in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. 2019 marks 50 years of Pride events, and while there has been remarkable progress since 1969, LGBT activists are still working toward a future with no intolerance in the workplace and beyond.
In South Africa, we have been celebrating Pride since 13 October 1990. Simon Nkoli, gay anti-apartheid activist, founded The Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) in 1988.
The first Pride was organised by GLOW and was the first of its kind on the African continent. It was attended by 800 people. In the past, these parades were used for protesting against discrimination against the LGBT community and a fight for equality before the law.
“I’m fighting for the abolition of apartheid. And I fight for the right of freedom of sexual orientation. These are inextricably linked with each other. I cannot be free as a black man if I am not free as a gay man.”
– Simon Nkoli (First pride parade, Johannesburg, 13 October 1990)
The LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual and gender-non-conforming) community has fought for many decades to be acknowledged. Today, we use the word pride to define several different aspects of what it means to be LGBT.
Pride Month means festivities in abundance. If you see ribbons and rainbow flags dominate social media platforms, remember that the 1969 events were a tipping point for LGBT rights, and is the reason we celebrate Pride Month in June.
“I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You’re not scared. You’re an asshole.” – Morgan Freeman
“Gender preference does not define you. Your spirit defines you.” – Author P.C. Cast
“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.” – George Takei
Happy Pride Month from us at Allure Sensuality Emporium!