New Delhi: June is a month dedicated to empowering LGBTQIA+ voices, celebrating their culture and supporting their rights. It is a month where rainbow colours come out in all their glory, asserting their presence and demanding recognition devoid of discrimination, in a no holds bar manner. The issues go deeper than visible outward traits of vibrant clothes and makeup to the more complex concerns of gender identity and acceptance. Pride month is all of this and more.
According to the Gay Centre Organisation, a community that is empowering people and building strong community, LGBTQIA+ is an abbreviation used for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more. It states that these terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Here is all that Pride Month, stands for:
How Pride Month Came About
It all started in 1969 from the United States. The Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City was raided by police in the early morning hours, arresting the employees for selling liquor without a license. Raiding gay bars was a part of the routine for the police, only this time, the LGBTQIA+ community of the bar fought back, starting the Stonewall Riots that went on for days. It also ignited a long struggle to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people into the American mainstream guaranteeing their rights. This also became the first riot concerning LGBTQIA+ community, which got major media coverage, and it sparked the formation of many gay rights groups. After a long history of protests and proud resilience, in 1999, former US president Bill Clinton officially proclaimed June as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month”. Later in 2011, President Barack Obama emphasised the inclusive nature of the Pride movement by re-titling June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
Why The Month Of June For Pride Month?
June coincides with the catalyst of the Gay Liberation Movement that was started with Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Inn was declared a historic landmark by the city of New York in 2015 and later named a national monument by former President Barack Obama in 2016.
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the first Pride parade, which happened in 1970, one year after the uprising.
How Pride Month Is Celebrated?
Traditionally the month of June, nationwide was associated with parades and protests. Now, as the month has gained momentum it also is marked with various performances, live theater etc to celebrate the life and culture of members from the community. The month is also associated with people who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS and spread awareness about LGBTQIA+ community rights.
About The Pride Symbol – The Rainbow-Coloured Flag
The rainbow-coloured flag was created by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. Back then it was used as the design during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration. According to Humans Right Campaign, its design was chosen specifically by Baker as a symbol of hope that has been used throughout history for the LGBTQIA pride, with each colour symbolising a different part of the LGBTQIA+ community: hot pink represents sex, red symbolises life, orange stands for healing, yellow equals sunlight, green stands for nature, turquoise symbolises magic and art, indigo represents serenity, while violet symbolises the spirit of LGBTQ+ people.
Theme Of Pride Month 2023
Every year, Pride month is marked with some theme that helps people to engage in discussions and raise awareness about key issues that people of the LGBTQ+ community continue to face. This year, the month is being marked with the theme – Rage and Resilience, reflecting the current global climate with the resurgence of anti-LGBT bills and laws.
What LGBTQ+ Community Stand in India?
According to National Human Rights Commission, there are an estimated 104 million Indians (or 8% of the total population) who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It also states but lack of awareness about the LGBTQIA+ community is the principal problems India faces today. The report – Making India Transgender Inclusive: An In-Depth Analysis Of The Education Sector In India released by National Human Rights Commission in 2022 states that 68 per cent of Indians feel transgender rights should be respected, but only 20 per cent claim to have known a transgender in their life.
A study conducted by Kerala Development Society (2017) limited to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh states that 29.11 per cent and 33.11 per cent transgender people respectively have never attended school. It also stated that only 5.33 per cent transgender people in Delhi and 4 per cent of them in Uttar Pradesh hold a Graduate Degree.
In terms of rights of transgenders in India, the rights for the community were for the first time considered under the 2014 NALSA Judgment which highlights the presence of the community in the country, and safeguarding the rights of the transgender person under the principles of Indian Constitution.
In 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality and overruled its own 2013 decision and partially struck down Section 377, a controversial British-era law that banned consensual gay sex.
However, till today, under Indian law, same sex marriage, adoptions, legal rights over partner’s financial resources have not been defined for the community. In fact, transgenders don’t even have legal rights to sign consent letters in hospitals and avail health insurance.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.