As we close off ‘Pride Month’ or to others known as June, I want to take off the curtains that can sometimes be intimidating or get overshadowed by enlarged public campaigns that show Pride as a rainbow sticker and nothing more. This is the last week to celebrate Pride, go out with friends to the crazy-themed parties, and order your Uber Pride. But – what is Pride?
For the LGBTQ + community, this month is more than parties, parades, and crazy outfits. If you are going to celebrate this month with them there are some things you should know about what it means, its history and the battles that are happening today.
Pride Month starts at the Stonewall riots that occurred in 1969. On June 28, these demonstrations – which in some way became violent – began the gay community long stand with the police. For decades before, the gay community sought freedom of expression, legal rights and being accepted before society, but even in 1969 it was still being attacked and discriminated against every day. With the Counterculture Era of the 60s, evoked by the Vietnam War, it gave way to people taking actions by their own hands, which served as an impulse to the gay community to be heard. After Stonewall, New York was the epicenter of the LGBTQ + culture, which within months, organizations rose, newspapers for the community were created, and more leaders came to light including Harvey Milk.
Today, after more than five decades, the LGBTQ + community continues to fight social and political discrimination. On June 12, marks three years since the horrendous shooting at the Pulse nightclub in the United States with more than 49 dead – one of the most fatal mass shootings in US history. For example, gay marriage, although it has already passed laws in many states within the United States as well as the rest of the world – there are places which continue to penalize it in a severe and drastic manner. Recently, the case of #BoycottBrunei was heard having heard that the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkai, published his decision for a law that would stone people to death who were found guilty of gay sex, adultery or rape. This news issued emergency calls globally, with one of the most recognized being the movement that began the actor George Clooney of #BoycottBrunei, to put pressure to change that law. By boycotting the most luxurious hotels of the Sultan and putting pressure economically, the law was abolished. A small Victory for the LGBTQ + community since homosexuality is still a crime in the country and is even punished with lashes. Same-sex relationships are still illegal in more than 70 countries.
On the other side, some victories were won in ode to Pride Month. More recently, the Botswana court decriminalized same-sex relationships that were previously penalized by being ‘unconstitutional’. “All people are entitled to autonomy over their sexual expression. What compelling public interest is there necessitating such a law? There is no victim.”, says the court. And just today (june 12) Stratics Networks, the leading provider of cloud communications, announced today a scholarship of up to $10,000 for LGBTQ youth entering STEM and STEM-related areas of study.
“Stratics Networks is very pleased to announce this scholarship during Pride Month. It is a small way of demonstrating our commitment and support of diversity in the tech industry. It is only by bringing in a plurality of ideas, opinions and life experiences to the industry that truly great innovation can happen. Getting a bunch of people together who think the same way is not the best method to help solve the world’s problems.”Mr. Justice, CEO of Stratics Networks.
Furthermore, The sock brand Bombas has launched a line of rainbow socks to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month. From all sales deriving from the socks, Bombas is sending 40% of all proceedings to LGBTQ youth homeless shelters to raise awareness that 40% of homeless youth identify as a member of the queer community. Most of which state their homeless status departing from being unrecognized by their family.
Because every day the LGBTQ + community continues to be the subject of discussion for the government, for religion, for equal opportunities, and for their families – ‘Pride’ is a safe zone to celebrate victories as well as lost ones. For this and thousands of reasons, Pride Month is the platform for the community to be heard and free of judgment. Sure, you will find a lot of color, glitter, bars with promotion, floating giants and even ‘parades’ being sponsored by some brand of alcohol, but at its center, this month is a celebration, protest, and community event
For more information on how you can support your local LGBTQ+ community or globally, click here.