Mardi Gras in the USA, the Oktoberfest in Germany, the Carnival of Venice, La Tomatina in Spain and not to forget Holi and Deepavali celebrations in India. Well, these are some of the most vivid and colourful celebrations that take place in different parts of the world and are well-known by everyone. People look forward to witnessing and participating in these humongous gatherings and festivals and these are common to be found in the ‘My Life’s Bucket List’ of many.
However, a celebration that is rather unacknowledged and unheard of as compared to the above is the Pride Celebration. Pride is meant to celebrate the dignity and joy of representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community. It symbolizes freedom, beauty and most importantly the right to love whoever you want fearlessly, if it’s genuine, regardless of gender. The term ‘pride’ is apt as it directly counters the feelings of shame and guilt, which are otherwise slapped on such people.
Global Pride Day
The month of June is celebrated as the Pride month to create awareness about the LGBTQ+ community which continues to struggle to gain acceptance in the society due to their sexual orientation and preferences. In the United States, the last Sunday of June is celebrated as the ‘Gay Pride Day’, but many people also observe June 27 as the Global Pride Day as it marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Brenda Howard, profusely known as the ‘Mother of Pride’ is credited with organizing the first Pride march following the Stonewall Riots.
Pride Celebrations around the world
Normally, the pride celebrations are characterized by elegant performances, energizing concerts, drag shows and parades, popularly known as the Pride Marches. The most famous Pride Parades take place in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Washington DC, Taiwan, Iceland, Amsterdam, Mexico City, London, Madrid, Greece, Zurich, Oslo and Toronto.
Unfortunately, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has affected every celebration around the globe and this one bears no exception. Travelling and gathering in large numbers is not possible this year for obvious reasons like following the social distancing norms. However, this hasn’t hindered or diminished the spirit of Pride. With challenging times, people adapting by changing their styles. And for the first time in almost 50-year long history, most of the Pride events have been cancelled or postponed and will be conducted online this year. Yes, Pride 2020 will be inked down in history books as, ‘Virtual Pride’.
This could also be viewed as a silver lining, owing to the fact that more people could be a part of this celebration, thanks to the power of the Internet which connects us globally. Regardless of whether you live in an isolated rural village or a busy metropolitan city, all the people who could never get a chance to be a part of the marches can join, all they need is access to the Internet.
Moreover, this year people not only raised the Pride flag but also marched in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, providing these celebrations more significance than ever.
Though the LGBTQ+ community still faces many issues that need to be addressed more strictly like oppression, discrimination, violence and seclusion, there has been considerable change in the attitude of people across the globe towards people representing these sections of the society. Nevertheless, a lot is still to be done. The Pride celebrations promote equal rights and have proved to be successful as a movement in making people realize that they need to be proud of what they are.
At a personal level, we need to realise that people representing these communities are also one of us and provide them a sense of security and comfort. We need to talk openly and fearlessly about sexual orientation and preferences and thereby develop an environment of peaceful co-existence.
Race, gender, religion, sexuality, we are all people and that’s it. We’re all people. We’re all equal– Connor Franta