Wave your flags and douse yourself in glitter- it is Pride Month! It may seem as though Pride month is just about glitter and rainbows, but amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ community has never been so important. The people who make up the LGBTQ Community are faced with criticism, hatred, and injustices every single day. June is more than waving your rainbow flags - it’s teaching, learning and celebrating.
Here are some reasons why pride is more important than ever:
1. It Raises Awareness.
The sense of isolation for LGBTQ youth is a common feeling. 42% of LGBTQ youth have considered suicide in the past year, with transgender and nonbinary community making up half of it. An overwhelming majority have reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. Pride Month is a reminder that you are worthy as you are and never alone.
2. Embraces Diversity and Promotes Acceptance.
We are fighting against all forms of social inequality and injustices: LGBTQ people of color are not as easily accepted as their white peers. 1 in 4 Black transgender and nonbinary youth reported being physically threatened or harmed in their lifetime. In addition, nearly half have seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. Pride is a time to showcase our unity, diversity in the community, and above all love for one another no matter your background.
3. It's essential for LGBTQ Youth.
LGBTQ youth need a safe community dedicated to celebrating our differences. Many members of the LGBTQ community grow up in environments where being gay is not okay. It is common to be kicked out of homes, called slurs, and be shunned from their loved ones. In 2020, 40% of LGBTQ youth were unable to receive the proper care they deserve due to concerns of parental permission. June strips away the feelings of shame and isolation and instills hope, sense of protection, and acceptance for many.
4. The fight for equality is never over.
We owe pride month and all of its glory to the transgender women and gay men of color during the Stonewall Riots. Thanks to Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and so many brave souls who risked their lives for LGBTQ equality rights, we are now able to celebrate our individuality rather than conceal it. That being said, transgender women of color still face discrimination and are victims of hate crimes predominantly more simply because of who they are. June is a reminder that our society as a whole still needs work- because love should always just be love.
Pride Month is a time to honor those who paved the way and continue fighting for equal rights. It’s protecting LGBTQ youth and fighting discrimination that happens daily. It’s teaching, learning and celebrating - not just in June, but every month of the year.