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Welcome my friend to Pride month. And I feel like I can actually freely say that this year. Funny that. Something I’ve known about myself for 8 years and have mentioned every now and again on here… but it’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2022, and I decided now’s as good a time as any to share this post with you!
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you may have already read my “coming out” post a few years ago called Your Closet. I’ve since gone back on it and reread it and updated it or amended parts, but it’s still there for you to go back on if you haven’t. I won’t hold it against you; my back catalogue can seem intimidating even to me at times. But I guess that’s what comes from being around for almost 8 years. However some things never change and I once again find myself off topic. How did I go from LGBTQ+ Pride Month to my back catalogue? And what was the point in what I was saying? I haven’t a clue. So let’s continue.
LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a month-long global celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. It is also used to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and advocate for equal rights. Although a lot of the time bigger companies use it as an opportunity to use the rainbow (synonymous with the community) colours and “show their support”. Except Skittles, who go the other way and go white for Pride month. An interesting tactic in my opinion, and certainly something that intrigues me. I’ve still to try the white skittles… maybe this year?
While those of us in the LGBTQ+ community celebrate Pride month in June, there are other awareness days and months that are also celebrated in June. Some are light-hearted fun (national fish and chips day or national candy month for example), while others such as SANDS Awareness month and Loneliness Awareness Week get (deservedly so) more coverage. So why June for LGBTQ+ Pride month? Well LGBTQ+ Pride month is celebrated in June annually worldwide. This is predominantly to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York, a series of protests that changed the face of gay rights in the United States and around the world. Other important dates in the LGBTQ+ calendar include February, which is LGBT History Month, and Global Pride Day on the 27 June. Although many cities host their Pride marches at other stages of the year.
Pride month was names as such in 1970 by activist L. Craig Schoonmaker. He suggested it as an alternative to the proposed name of Gay Power, stating:
There’s very little chance for people in the world to have power. People did not have power then; even now, we only have some. But anyone can have pride in themselves, and that would make them happier as people, and produce the movement likely to produce change.
L. Craig Schoonmaker
And on a personal note, I prefer referring to Pride month instead of the possibility of using “Gay Power” because it automatically excludes the other identities associated within the community. But that’s just me. And to be fair, I’m not sure you came here today looking for a history lesson. So I’ll jump to the slightly more fun side of it.
LGBT Pride Celebrations in the UK
Here in the UK, most LBGTQ+ Pride events take place in June, but they aren’t restricted solely to Pride month. The calendar of Pride events includes regional celebrations all around the UK, running from February until September.
Some of the largest celebrations include:
Pride in London is scheduled for 2nd July 2022. Events include a parade, musical performances, and food and drinks.
Manchester Pride will be taking place over four days from the 26th to the 29th of August. Includes a village party, parade, candlelit vigil, and family events.
Brighton & Hove’s Pride is running from the 5th to the 7th of August. Typically the biggest LGBTQ+ Pride festival in the UK, this Pride event features a parade, concert events, a village party, and even a dog show.
Pride Glasgow, Scotland’s largest LGBTQ+ celebration will be held on 25th June 2022, with Edinburgh Pride happening on the same day.
And while it isn’t classed as one of the big celebrations, Belfast Pride is scheduled for 30th July 2022 and I won’t actually be in Belfast to go to it! Ah well, there’s always next year. To find out when your local Pride events are happening, check out the Pride Events calendar! I feel like any areas holding their Pride events actually during the LGBTQ+ Pride Month deserve a prize. Don’t ask me what though! Also, this year is a significant year for the Pride movement and the LGBTQ+ community as we in the United Kingdom commemorate 50 years since the first Pride march took place here.
Why Do We Celebrate Pride Month
Now I know a lot of people either love Pride month or hate it. But ask most people what their thoughts of Pride are, and they just think of the parade, loud music, lots of rainbows, and generally a party atmosphere. And while that is the case, the message behind LGTBQ+ Pride Month remains the same:
In 70 countries around the world, homosexuality is still a crime
LGBTQ+ people can face the death penalty in 11 countries
Same-sex marriage is only recognised in 29 countries (PS Northern Ireland only legalised same-sex marriage in January 2020. And that was because Stormont weren’t sitting and Westminster stepped in to invoke the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019)
Worldwide, LGBTQ+ people face widespread discrimination, including violence, workplace discrimination, school bullying, and denial of essential services
So yes, go out and buy and wear your rainbows. Support in the ways you can. And if you’re stepping into Pride month for the first time beginning to question or explore your identity, then a very special Happy Pride Month to you. It’s not easy going a lot of the time, or at least that’s been my experience, but use this month to learn more about yourself and others around you. And if you’re interested, you should definitely watch Pride on Amazon Prime or I believe it’s being shown on BBC this month so should be available to watch on iPlayer soon!
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