Every year in the month of June, thousands of people don the bright colours of the rainbow which we have come to know so well, in support of the LGBTQ+ community as they celebrate the month of Pride.
Whilst the rainbow colours are worn in support throughout the year, the month of June is particularly important as it celebrates the anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Riots in 1969.
This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Pride March in London making it a special occasion, not only for the occasion it marks but also to show how far the rights of the community have come and how far there is left to go.
Why do we celebrate Pride?
Pride was started, by Brenda Howard, who organised the first ‘Pride’ March in London in 1972.
It followed after police stormed the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village in New York in June of 1969, arresting people for wearing drag or wearing clothes that didn’t align with their ideals. This led to three nights of riots from the LGBTQ+ community who at this point were starting to take a stand against their rights, as this was not an isolated incident.
The riots sparked an international movement around the world.
The following year a number of states across the US, held marches to mark the anniversary. This was followed by a number of countries across Europe and Central America doing the same, with London holding the first ‘Pride’ march in June of 1972.
The Pride marches were a way for the community to make themselves heard, to campaign for change and at the same time bring the community together to celebrate who they are.
The event is celebrated with the traditional rainbow flag. In 2018 this was redesigned and a black and brown stripe was added to include people of colour and the transgender flag for the trans community.
What is the difference between Pride Month and LGBTQ+ History Month?
LGBTQ+ history month in the UK is held in February every year. It is designed to teach and educate people on the history behind the LGBTQ+ community, it helps to promote and raise awareness to the younger generation and teaches them about inclusivity.
Pride is to mark an occasion and to bring the community together to show a united front and celebrate. It brings together all the communities across the world at the same time, celebrating in a true fashion with bright colours, floats, dancing and music.
Black Pride is held in August of every year and is used to raise awareness within their own community. It was started by a lady known as Lady Phyll who recognised that there were different discriminations faced by the black community. This discrimination was often found coming from within their own community.
When is London Pride this year?
London Pride is being held on the 2nd of July this year.
London is not the only Pride event happening in the UK. This event calendar gives the details for all the events you can attend and get involved in.
Black Pride is taking place this year on the 14th of August 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. For more details, please see their website.
If you are looking for a Pride event further afield these international events may be of interest. From the US to Canada to Belgium.
Legislation that has changed the LGBTQ+ Community?
Since 1980 there has been a number of legislative changes to come into force that has affected the LGBTQ+ Community for the better. The timeline below shows just a select few from around the world.
1980- Sex between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’ is decriminalised in Scotland.
1982 - The Homosexual Offences Order decriminalises sex between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’ in Northern Ireland.
1988 - Denmark becomes the first country in the world to give legal recognition to same-sex partnerships.
1992 – WHO declare that homosexuality was not an illness.
2001 – The Netherland become the first country to officially recognise same-sex marriage
2002 – Homosexuality decriminalised in China
2002 – Gay people allowed to adopt children in the UK
2005 – Civil partnership allowed in the UK
2010 – Gay people allowed in the US Military
2010 – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion act in the Uk comes into force to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.
2013 – same-sex marriage legalised in England and Wales
2014 – Same-sex marriage legalised in Scotland
2018 – India’s Supreme Court decriminalises homosexuality
2020 – Same-Sex Marriage legalised in Northern Ireland.
What changes still need to be made?
Whilst there has been a lot of progression and change for the better, especially in England and Wales, other countries still class it a criminal offence to be anything other than heterosexual. In recent years the US has seen a regression in LGBTQ+ rights as have some eastern European countries.
The ideology that is still experienced from outside the LGBTQ+ community continues to be an issue. Without events such as Pride, LGBTQ+ Rights would be just another community that would fade into the distance. Without making their voices heard no change would be made.
As LGBTQ+ becomes known as LGBTQIA+, this year celebrates the 50th anniversary and the community is celebrating with the theme of #AllOurPride.
In the 21st Century in an inclusive world, isn’t it time that the wider community looks at how we can support communities and individuals from the LGBTQ+ community to have a voice?
Written By: Victoria-Jayne Scholes
OULS News Editor.