A lively and cheerful atmosphere permeates the world during Pride Month as people unite to celebrate diversity and embrace inclusivity. The queer community boldly exhibits its identity and promotes the right to equality and identity by hosting vibrant grand parades, marches ringing with slogans, picnics in parks, events, poetry sessions, and workshops. During Pride Month, there is an overwhelming feeling of positivity, love, and empowerment in the air.
Now you must be curious: when is Pride Day? June 28 is celebrated as Pride Day worldwide. However, the celebration is not limited to a day; rather, the entire month of June is Pride Month. But have you ever wondered why this celebration is in the month of June?
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What is Pride Month?
Pride Month is a time of joy, celebration, honour, and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and its rights for members of the queer community and their allies. In Pride Month, Pride flags are displayed on buildings, residences, and streets as visible signs of acceptance and unity. Queers and their allies publicly show their support for the queer community, strengthening the community’s sense of unity and visibility, and they come together to celebrate the history, accomplishments, and struggles of the queer community.
History of the Pride Month
Tracing back to 1969, the Stonewall Riots took place in New York City. At that time, gays were viewed with equal hatred and loathing by both the general public and the law-abiding police, and they had to experience pervasive prejudice and injustice. They faced widespread hate and oppression, harassment by police, arrests, raids, and social ostracism.
During the time when the air was filled with hatred for gays, the Stonewall Inn in New York City was a safe gathering place for queer people. On the 28th night in June 1969, Stonewall was stormed by the police, but unlike any other raid, people retaliated instead of succumbing quietly.
The long-simmering frustration and anger toward the police that had been developing in their hearts as a result of the ongoing harassment and oppression finally rose to the surface and erupted against the police. People in the crowd threw objects at police as a form of protest and were later joined by local residents and activists. For several days, the clashes grew increasingly fierce.
This clash served as a watershed moment that shifted the narrative in the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, and later, the Stonewall incident, referred to as the “Stonewall Uprising” or “Stonewall Riots”, kindled protests, demonstrations, and dialogs to voice the rights, recognition, and protection of the LGBTQ+ community.
After the 1969 Stonewall uprising, every year the queers and allies started organizing marches and demonstrations to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. In June 1970, the Stonewall anniversary took a new turn when the Christopher Street Liberation Day March took place in New York.
The event marked the emergence of the modern LGBTQ+ Pride movement and what would have become a celebration: Pride Parades and Pride Marches.
Over time, these marches and parades moved outside the US, and celebrations were held in cities all over the world. Since then, the community and its allies have been advocating equal rights, demonstrating against atrocious laws and practices, and promoting their identity as a way to remember their achievements and celebrate their battles.
Today, Pride Month is a widely recognized and celebrated event on an international level; it is not restricted to a single day or weekend but is instead celebrated with zeal, joy, unity, and visibility throughout the entire month.
What is the Symbol of Pride?
You may be familiar with the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag and the rainbow emoji as symbols of Pride and the queer community. However, a variety of other symbols have been used throughout history, and some are still in use today, to denote and symbolize pride. Here, we are sharing with you some of these signs and symbols associated with the queer community and Pride.
- Interlocking Male and Female Signs
Historically, the intertwined male and female signs derived from the alchemical and astronomical symbols for Mars (♂) and Venus (♀) have been used to depict gay and lesbian love. To better reflect the transgender and genderqueer populations, transgender activist Holly Boswell combined the two symbols with a hybrid symbol in 1993 to form the triad (⚧). Since then, it’s become the universally known symbol of the transgender community.
- ‘Bi-angles’ Symbol
The ‘bi-angles’ symbol has been used for a very long time. It was the first representation of bisexuality to use the pink, purple, and blue colour combination, according to its designer, Michael Page. It consists of a downward-facing pink triangle overlapping a blue one. Although it is unknown where the bi-angle symbol first appeared, Vivian Wagner created the double-sided crescent moon symbol in 1998 as an alternative.
The objective was to convey solidarity with people affected by AIDS while distancing the community from the symbol of violence represented by the pink triangle. The two crescent moons that make up the double moon have a gradient from blue to pink, producing lavender where the two primary colors converge. Wagner wished for the emblem to signify gay, lesbian, and bisexual unity as well.
- The Pink Triangle
This sorrowful symbol has been reclaimed by the community as a sign of power and remembering. Gay concentration camp prisoners in Nazi Germany were marked with a downward-pointing pink triangle. The symbol was brought back by the gay community in the 1970s and started appearing in LGBTQ+ circles worldwide.
Although the pink triangle has been retrieved as an empowering symbol, it remains a symbol of queer community oppression throughout history and the difficulties that LGBTQ+ populations confront worldwide.
- The Pride Flag
As a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride, the rainbow flag has been widely used since the 1970s. You might be wondering, “Why the rainbow?” Harvey Milk, the first openly homosexual politician to be elected to office in California, was a San Francisco city supervisor in 1978 when he asked his friend Gilbert Baker to design a symbol representing the LGBTQ+ community. Milk planned to unveil the new flag at that year’s San Francisco Gay Freedom Pride Parade.
Baker, an artist, veteran, and fighter for LGBT rights, quickly began work on an eight-color striped flag. The flag’s different colours stand for several meanings: sex in pink, life in red, healing in orange, sunlight in yellow, nature in green, magic in turquoise, serenity in blue, and spirit in violet.
How do you Celebrate Pride Month?
There are many ways to celebrate Pride Month, from supporting queer voices to supporting queer businesses and organizations to simply being an ally to your queer friends or community. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Pride Month, we’ve compiled a list of ideas that are sure to put you in the spirit.
- Show support on social media.
- Educate yourself by learning the history of Pride.
- Advocate for the cause of the queer community
- Support the small businesses owned or run by LGBTQ+ people.
- Attend the Pride Month events and participate in the activities.
- Donate to charities and organizations working for the queer community.
- Rock in Pride-friendly or Pride-symbolic clothing.
- Send custom cards and messages to your queer friends and family members.
- Throw a Pride party to honour your Pride friends and the community.
- In your Netflix and chill time, watch any entertaining, informative, or light-hearted LGBTQ+ movie, show, or book.
Pride Month Celebration in India
Pride month in India is celebrated with immense zest and zeal. Several marches, parades, and other events are organized in various cities in many states. So, when is Pride Month in India? Interestingly, the celebration is not limited to Pride Month (June) only; many parades and marches are organized throughout the year. In the table given below, we are enlisting some of the cities and months of events for some of the biggest Pride events in India.
In India, Pride Month is observed with great enthusiasm across different states. Pride marches, also known as pride parades, are held in several cities to promote LGBTQ+ rights and raise awareness about the challenges faced by the community. Here is a table listing some crucial information about Pride Month celebrations in different cities in India:
|City||Parade & March||Tentative month/date|
|Delhi||Delhi Queer Pride Parade||November|
|Mumbai||Queer Azadi Mumbai Pride March||January- February|
|Bengaluru||Bengaluru Namma Pride March||November|
|Chennai||Chennai Rainbow Pride March||June|
|Kolkata||Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk (KRPW)||December|
|Jaipur||Queer Gulabi Pride||January|
|Hyderabad||Hyderabad Queer Swabhimana Yatra||November|
Support Resources for LGBTQ+ Individuals and Families
To support LGBTQ+ individuals and their families, there are a number of resources available and organizations working in many ways, from providing peer support, crisis hotlines, and health communities to legal support groups. Below is a list of resources to help queers and their families in need:
- Helplines or Crisis Hotlines
There are hotlines that provide support and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ people. These hotlines offer a private, secure setting where people can voice their worries, get answers, and look for direction.
- Mental Health Services
Mental health experts who have expertise in LGBTQ+ concerns can counsel and support queer people. Such services can help with mental health, wellness, and exploration.
- Allies and Friends
For queer individuals, establishing a network of receptive, understanding friends, family members, and supporters is crucial. Friends and allies can offer emotional support, speak up for them, and foster a welcoming environment.
- Educational Resources
Numerous publications, including books, essays, videos, and websites, are devoted to educating and supporting LGBTQ+ people and their families. These resources can provide understanding, direction, and tools for navigating all facets of queer individuals’ life.
- Legal Support Groups and Organizations
Queer people can also seek help from online and offline legal support groups that provide legal services, help with documentation and guides on legal rights. These groups also provide free services to queers in need.
- Online Support Communities and Groups
For LGBTQ+ people, online groups and forums provide a place for interaction, experience sharing, and advice-seeking. These resources can be a great way to find understanding and support.
- Advocacy Organizations
This month of June is the time for festivities to honour the queer community, their history, their achievements, and their struggle. There are many ways in which you can participate in this celebration and contribute beyond the festivities by educating yourself about the history of pride, supporting the community, participating in supportive actions, embracing the symbols, and donating to the cause of the queer community.
Through your participation and contribution, you can play a role in fostering an inclusive and diverse world. Let’s commemorate Pride, unite, and continue to fight for queer rights, acceptance, and recognition.