Today’s Pride March concludes the celebrations done all through the Pride Month of June, with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and their supporters asserting their common stand against discrimination and all other injustices that minorities face.
Numerous LGBTQ+ groups do more than wave rainbow flags as they raise awareness of the various issues faced by the community.
Pride March this year coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which began after a violent raid conducted by the New York police on Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. For the next six days, riots took place in front of the bar. The riots are widely regarded as a catalyst for gay rights movement in the United States and the world.
Here at home, the LGBTQ+ community continues to experience discrimination based on negative perceptions or moralistic views, even as we have many gay, lesbian or bisexual friends, acquaintances and even family members, and even as they are amply represented in popular culture.
Unfortunately for many, it does not come as an instinct that to be LGBTQ+ means to be accorded the same rights, respect and love as anybody, instead of being ridiculed, patronized or tolerated.
Often, too, we find it easy to mouth solidarity with the cause but difficult to walk the talk when they come too close—say, as a family member, or a colleague, with whom we have to interact constantly.
But Pride Month exists to remind us that everyone should be able to show one’s true self without fear of being singled out or judged, or be seen as an aberration, or as someone that must be “corrected.”
Pride Month is not just for the LGBTQ+ community, their loved ones and supporters. It is for all of us—so that we will always remember that to be “different” is not to be better or worse, that decency knows no bounds, and that gender should never be an issue because in the end, what matters is to be human.