The term “Pride” refers to the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. And what are they proud of, some people ask? After all, are the straight folk particularly proud of being heterosexual?
Pride is a process of many years that started when the vilified and abused homosexual communities began to stand up for their right to live freely as individuals with alternative gender orientations and attrations, without being singled out and discriminated against. They gathered in public and risked everything by standing up and declaring their sexual orientation without shame, in the hope that might establish a legitimate community and others would be released from the burden of living with deception and anguish. By coming out they would let closet gays know that there were others like them and they could show that such shows of strength were possible and empowering.
The final impetus for such celebrations was the rebellion in New York City in 1969, following a raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. This first act of rebellion by the community against their freedom began being commemorated each year in what became known as “Gay Freedom Day”. As the movement grew, the lesbian community aligned itself with the gay community and in the 80′s began celebrating the “International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade”. In the mid-90′s the parade became known as the “Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Pride Celebration”.
Some people still argue that the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender communities (LGBT) make themselves unpopular by exposing their sexuality vulgarly, in a way that heterosexuals do not behave. Well, an honest look at our societal behaviour shows us that straight behaviour, along with its impossible expectations of masculinity and femininity, is the default, to which we are expected to conform. LGBT is challenging our understanding of what it means to be male and female, and to experience masculinity and femininity.
By marching and celebrating who you are, by coming out and showing yourselves unabashed, by saying there is another way to express sexuality and find your fundamental happiness, you are showing inspirational courage. Of that, you deserve to be proud.