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Pride Month 2021 – Stop the Stigma
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Pride Month 2021 – Stop the Stigma

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Highlights:
  • Every year, June signifies the onset of Pride Month that is celebrated to establish awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community
  • The day intends to eradicate the social stigma and discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Several countries take pride to secure an equal identity for the LGBTQIA+ coalition in society

June is appreciated as the Pride Month for LGBTQIA+ identities worldwide to raise awareness and share their experiences in full gusto. There are loads of misconceptions and stigma against the community due to the limited knowledge people have. The whole month strives to draw out the discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ and the social ostracisation posed upon them.

What is LGBTQIA+?

In the late 1960s, the gay liberation movement phrased the person's sexual orientation or gender identity as homosexual "gay" - people attracted to the same sex, especially men. Later this reached more popularity, and the term "lesbian"was highlighted to designate similar attraction in women. Over time, the community became universalized as LGBT group.

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However, the style used to describe the community has now evolved to embrace an added group of ancillary terminology around both sexuality and gender spectrum that involves L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+., abbreviated as:
  • L - Lesbian (woman who is physically and romantically attracted to other women)
  • G - Gay (males who are attracted to other males)
  • B - Bisexual (romantically and physically attracted to members of both sexes)
  • T - Transgender (a general term that describes people whose gender identity, or their internal sense of being male, female, or something else, does not match the sex they were assigned at birth)
  • Q - Queer (someone who is "questioning" their sexual orientation or gender identity)
  • I - Intersex (a group of conditions where there is a discrepancy between the external genitals and the internal genitals (the testes and ovaries)
  • A - ally (or asexual)
  • + plus sign covers anyone else who's not included.

Pride Month: Sneak-Peek into the History

The first LGBT organization was ascertained in 1946 with an indefinite name to mask its then taboo purpose.

The establishment of the Pride Month dates back to the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in Manhattan, New York City, United States. For centuries, the long-run frustration of the LGBTQIA+ community was finally burst into a full-fledged riot and activism by the LGBTQIA+ people on 28th June 1969 when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located at 43 Christopher Street, Greenwich Village in New york.
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A range of extemporaneous and sporadic demonstrations was held by the LGBTQIA+ community in and around New York to establish the identity for the Gay Liberation Movement during the Stonewall Riots, also called the 'Stonewall Uprising'. The Stonewall Riots thereby mark an important day in the evolution of modern-day gay rights.

The first-ever anniversary of the "Gay Pride Parade" was initially celebrated as the result of these struggles on the last Sunday of June on 28, 1970 at 'Gay-in', which was known as "Christopher Street Liberation Day". However, the actual day continued to be flexible. The day was soon recognized as a month-long series of events all over the world.

Official Mark of LGBTQIA+

Gilbert Baker designed and flew the rainbow gay pride flag at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 25, 1978. The long-shunned LGBTQIA+ community finally gained its first-ever 'official' Gay Pride Month declaration by President Bill Clinton in June 1999 and 2000 in the US.

Since then, every June was tagged with LGBT Pride Month declaration by President Obama during his two terms from 2009-2016. In 2016, President Obama also acknowledged the Stonewall Inn as a national monument. Donald Trump recognized Pride Month with a tweet in May 2019. President Biden has also declared June to be the LGBTQIA+ Pride Month of 2021.

Google has been climbing uphill the community with the distinct rainbow-colored pattern — the hallmark of Gay Pride, on its homepage since 2012. Google also displayed rainbow-colored streets with Google maps to symbolize pride marches across the world in 2017.

The days are also commemorated as testimonials for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS and to acknowledge the impression that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally for their equal rights.

LGBTQIA+ Pride in India

As the LGBTQIA+ concept gradually spread worldwide, it also made its way to India. After Shakuntala Devi published the first study on homosexuality in India in 1977, there was broader awareness of an anti-homosexuality law - Section 377, which marked the discourse on LGBTQIA+ rights and India's track record on the same.

In 2009, Delhi High Court decision Naz Foundation vs. Govt. of NCT of Delhi had found that Section 377 and other legal prohibitions against same-sex conduct were a direct violation of fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution. Hence Section 377 was brought down as a huge victory towards marriage equality for the community in India.

However, the ruling was then reversed in December 2013 by the Supreme Court that propped the introduction of a law that criminalizes gay sex. The issue was then handed over to Parliament for further legislation.

Following this major impediment, the unheard voices became even louder and sought a long, arduous path to equality and further change in people's mind-sets in the future. Several states of India engage in voicing out the rights of the LGBTIQA+ coalition through a pride march every June since 2008.

Pride Month 2021

Month-long activities and initiatives are organized in various countries to celebrate the event. Celebrations include pride parades, massive rallies, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, and concerts, which attract millions of participants worldwide. The colorful activities and flavors of this month-long celebration are aptly signified by the rainbow and keep growing every year.

The 50th anniversary of Stonewall was celebrated in 2019 by more than 5 million people who gathered in New York City. An estimated 150,000 people marched with 700 groups in a parade through the streets of Manhattan that lasted for 12 hours.

The present situation of the COVID-19 pandemic has however urged the removal of several in-person events worldwide this year. However, there are a lot of glittery, glamorous, and glorious events happening online to get their way in to sustain Pride Month 2021.

These include - "Thrive with Pride'' concert featuring pop sensation Charli XCX and up-and-coming LGBTQIA+ artists (June 10th), "Outside Voice", world-renowned New York Gay Men's Chorus, and Youth Pride Chorus' premiere video (June 15th), 4th annual Human Rights Conference (June 21st - 23rd), and NYC Youth Pride virtual event along with 40th annual Pride Run - a hybrid event with a limited capacity of in-person 6K & virtual 5K (June 26th).

"We have something for everyone. Everything is listed on nycpride.org. There are events for youth, for families, for people who like to cook, for film enthusiasts. We've tried to hit on a range of different interests and segments of our community. My hope is that these festivities allow us to build common ground. We are being threatened by people who don't support any of us. We are at our strongest when we are united," says Dan Dimant, who became media director for NYC Pride last September after serving for years as a volunteer.

Facts & Figures on LGBTQIA+ Pride

  • There are 4.1% of women and 350,000 transgender women who are recognized as LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Approximately 46% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are open about their sexual orientation with their families.
  • However, 43% of LGBTQIA+ employees haven't exposed their sexual orientation at work and they spend 10% of their time hiding their identities.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 8 people LGBTQIA+ community experience unequal treatment from healthcare staff and almost 52% of them experienced depression recently.
  • One in every five women of the LGBTQIA+ community lives in poverty.
  • The average annual income earned by 22% of LGBTQIA+ people is less than $12,000.
  • With rising stigma and taboo on these communities, federal protection against discrimination was offered to 50% of LGBTQIA+ workers.

Ways to Stop Social Stigma Against LGBTQIA+

Every individual deserves a right to live their life with freedom. One can support and encourage people from the LGBTQIA+ community by following ways:
  • Show love and respect to the LGBTQIA+ community by participating in the Pride Month events every year.
  • Accept and encourage them for self-affirmation. Make them feel normal like any other people.
  • It's better to educate yourself on this sensitive topic so that one doesn't end up hurting anyone's feelings from the concerned community.
  • Let the LGBTQIA+ community voice out. Listen to & understand them!
  • Have the right perception and raise your voice against the human discrimination that takes place in the LGBTQIA+ community.

References:
  1. Library of Congress - (https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/)
  2. A Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021 - (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/06/01/a-proclamation-on-lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-and-queer-pride-month-2021/)
  3. ACRONYMS EXPLAINED - (https://outrightinternational.org/content/acronyms-explained)
  4. LGBTQIA+ - (https://lgbt.ucsf.edu/lgbtqia)


Source: Medindia

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