Love Is Love: Why Pride Matters

Jennifer Shaheen Hussain

Every year, during the month of June, the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates in different ways to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 that has over the decades served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement globally.

The Pride month is observed and celebrated to uplift the community’s voices, their culture, acceptance of different sexual identities, and advocate and support the rights of the LGBTQIA+ rights.

The Stonewall Inn, a popular gay club, located in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan on June 28, 1969 was blitzed by New York city police, who affirmed the bar lacked a liquor license and violated many of the city’s health and safety codes. A crowd of over 500 including the patrons resisted the raid. Over the next six days, protestors had violent clashes.

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The Stonewall uprising was not the first time when the LGBT+ community fought with public authorities for their rights, infact a few photographs from the first and the last night of the riot there aren’t any visual documentation, however, the movement played a pivotal role in encouraging the community to fight oppression and the prejudices held against them.

Fast forward 52 years, the pride has become the epitome of part political activism and part celebration of all the LGBTQIA+ community has achieved since the historic Stonewall uprising. Pride is necessary.

In India, up until 2018, a draconian law – Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised carnal intercourse with human beings or animals; which directly implied the persecution of people with different sexual identities.

On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India had scrapped the law which proved to be a step forward towards the acceptance of sexual minorities across the nation.

However, the stigmatisation of the community continues not just in parts of the country but also globally. This alone makes it important for their fight against the persistent discrimantion that prevails against the community.

Despite being constitutionally accepted as a citizen with equal rights, the marginalisation of the community has not changed completely.

Pride marches, rallies, events, and other ways of performances are crucial as it is a political act to resist the control exercised by people who perhaps have always been under the influence that monogamy is only the way of leading a romantic and sexual life.

While human civilisation has made progress in terms of science and technology, people can still be stigmatised and can be also fired from their jobs and be socially isolated due to their sexual orientation and who they choose to love.

Pride has remained a place of comfort, safety and solace; a door for new possibilities, and a road to freedom. Pride is a place that proves that people can love and be loved for exactly who they are and being queer is not a crime or to be shamed for.

The fight will always continue in a world full of odds and inequality. However, it is necessary to honour those who fought all along to lead a life of freedom today and respect what the community truly deserves.

Today, in the generation of millennials it has a deeper symbolism where people across races and sexual orientations render a much-needed revolt against human injustices globally.

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