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Pride is protest. Pride is community, diversity, defiance. Pride is solidarity and bravery.
Pride marches are a central element of the global LGBTIQ movement. They are a loud and visible expression of our community saying – this is who we are, we are here, we deserve to be seen, recognized, respected, and protected.
The origins of Pride date back to June 1969 when the Stonewall riots erupted in New York’s Greenwich Village after yet another police raid of the Stonewall Inn bar. These raids were not unusual. They were part of a culture of police harassment, extortion, and brutality against LGBTIQ people. But in June 1969, the patrons had had enough. They were sick of decades of abuse, violence, and murder, so the Stonewall riots erupted, led in particular by trans women of color. A year later the first Pride march was held, loudly demanding recognition of the rights of LGBTIQ people to be exactly who we are, love whom we chose, be the gender we are and have our basic human rights recognized.
Although Pride events happen year-round across the world, June has, symbolically, been marked as Pride month. In many places Pride is a celebration of diversity and progress, in many more Prides are banned, restricted, attacked.
Pride is protest. Pride is community, diversity, defiance. Pride is solidarity and bravery. It is a manifestation of our right to freedom of expression and assembly. It is a reminder that we are here, a way of dispelling misleading myths about us, and a way to demand recognition of our basic human rights. It is also the most visible element of the LGBTIQ movement to date.
Prides take different shapes and forms around the world. Some are massive celebrations. Some are small underground gatherings. Some take place with the support of local authorities. Others face violent backlash. But what they all have in common is a purpose: fighting for the equality of LGBTIQ people everywhere.