Why Pride is still essential in 2017

BY EMMA MURPHY

Originally posted on the blog Mainstream Queen

Sometimes people, even those in the LGBTQ+ community, will question why we need Pride in 2017 in Western countries.

I would argue that Pride is essential to society. There’s much more to it than costumes, face paint and rainbow cakes, although I’ll be the first person to admit that I also enjoy that part of Pride.

How Pride helps you

When you march through your city, surrounded by your queer brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings, you feel a sense of solidarity in your soul. There are people cheering you on from the sidelines, children waving rainbow flags at you as you pass and old people smiling politely (even if they would like you to keep the noise down).

Yes, there will always be some asshats but hopefully, the sheer volume of Pride attendees will discourage them.

How Pride helps other people

An important part of Pride is giving back; meaning that charity booths are a staple at most events; stop by, sign a petition, give them your pocket change. However donating to charity isn’t the only way to do good during Pride; you can change a small part of the world just by showing up.
Somewhere in that crowd of people watching will be someone who hasn’t yet come out; seeing you -all of you- may give them the courage to come out sooner. Somewhere else in the crowd will be someone who is straight and cis, who probably doesn’t think too much about LGBTQ+ rights; when they see you, they may reconsider their stance on the issues of workplace discrimination, bathroom ordinances and LGBTQ+ rights in general.
How Pride helps the world

In summary, Pride is about standing up for your rights, the rights of your friends and family and the rights of the LGBTQ community as a whole, because human rights are non-negotiable, no matter where in the world you live.

As of 2017, there are 71 countries where being gay is illegal and ten where it carries the DEATH SENTENCE (All Out). There are many more countries where the government will deny your human rights due to your gender identity or sexual orientation. There is no country in the world where LGBTQ+ people have full equality.

The first gay pride was a literal riot; born out of a need to exist without persecution. We should always remember that because no matter how far we’ve come, we still have a long way to go.

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