What began in the United States in 1969 has now grown into a global emblem of identity celebration and acceptance.
The month also honors the LGBTQ+ community's struggle to become legally and socially accepted after years of being labeled as sex offenders and being imprisoned, treated with chemical castration, social ostracization, and imprisoned.
History Of PRIDE Celebration
Before the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ people did not publicly declare their sexual orientation or identity, but the incident united the gay community and encouraged them to be more politically active and take a stand for themselves. On the first anniversary of the riots, several hundred people marched down Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, which runs past the Stonewall, in what is widely regarded as the first Gay Pride march.
Pride is usually marked by a series of events culminating in a parade with marchers and colorful floats representing the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. And Pride month is not just an occasion of celebration, it is also the day people remember the struggles and sacrifices of the community. The hardships and discrimination that they have had to endure are always intertwined with the progress made.
Early Pride events (sometimes referred to as Freedom Day or Gay Liberation Day) were often under-attended and drew criticism, owing to the eccentric costumes worn by some marchers.
Brenda Howard, a New York activist who also identifies as bisexual and is widely regarded as the "Mother of Pride," is credited with organizing the first Pride parade to honor the Stonewall uprising's first anniversary.
Why The Rainbow Flag?
The flag has eight colors: sexuality is represented by hot pink, life is represented by red, healing is represented by orange, the Sun is represented by yellow, nature is represented by green, art is represented by blue, harmony is represented by indigo, and spirit is represented by violet. The flag was designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker and has been adopted worldwide. The following year, a six-color flag with red, orange, yellow, green, blue [harmony replaced art as signified by blue in the flag], and purple/violet, was introduced, partly due to the unavailability of certain fabric colors.
How does Child Help Foundation act as an Ally To The Community?
Under SDG-5, Child Help Foundation started the Gender Equality program. To date, we have supported over 3 lakh beneficiaries all over the country.
During the state-imposed lockdowns because of the COVID-19 pandemic, lakhs of people in India were highly affected. The disruptions were multifold. Amidst all this, the transgender community was facing additional discrimination with not many people reaching out to provide them with humanitarian aid.
Child Help Foundation volunteers ensured that humanitarian aid is all-inclusive. No discrimination should be felt during a global pandemic. Our team reached out to these marginalized groups from various regions of pan-India and provided them with Ration Kits (consisting of essential food grains, oil, sugar, salt, and spices), sanitizers, masks, and hygiene kits.
Ration kits were distributed to 220 transgenders and widows in Bharatpur Kinner Basti, Sampur Baramunda, Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Mira Road (Mumbai), and Khar Road (Mumbai).
Child Help Foundation believes that every individual has the right to be their own authentic self and LGBTQIA+ communities should not be treated as a subsection of society that is different from us. But rather the idea that people with different identities and sexualities can co-exist in the same society should be embedded in the minds of the people.
The rights of the community are interlinked with the belief in gender equality and all the rights are co-dependent and should be treated as such. And as Olympic Gold Medalist and American soccer player Megan Rapione came out in the first year of her college said at a pride rally,
“The more I’ve been able to learn about gay rights and equal pay and gender equity and racial inequality, the more that it all intersects. You can’t pick it apart. It’s all intertwined.”Inclusivity is necessary. This Pride Month let us not forget the core meaning of 'humanity and treat all as equals.
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