- The celebration of Pride Month started in the United States
- The first Pride march was held on June 28, 1970
- The Stonewall riots or Stonewall Uprising gave birth to pride march & month
New Delhi: Come June and one gets to see rainbow coloured flags flying high in the sky, people marching with painted faces and flags and posters in their hands, across various parts of the world, expressing solidarity with the LGTBQ+ community. The month of June is celebrated as Pride Month and observed in several countries to commemorate the struggles and victories of the LGBTQ+ communities. Though it was started in 1969 in the United States, the moment has grown and become a global symbol of celebrating and accepting identities. This June, let’s look back at the history and relevance of Pride Month.
History Of Pride Month
On June 28, 1969, police raided Stonewall Inn, the most popular gay bar in the New York city, on the pretext of operating without a liquor license. According to media reports, until 1966, throughout the state, it was illegal to serve alcohol to a gay person. Raiding gay bars was a part of the routine for the police and fighting back was a regular response of the LGBTQ+ community. But, this time, word of the Stonewall raid spread quickly throughout the city. By that evening (June 28), thousands of people including patrons of the Stonewall and other locals got involved and fought back the police brutality for six days.
It was the first to get major media coverage, and it sparked the formation of many gay rights groups. The series of events came to be known as Stonewall Riots; today, also known as the Stonewall uprising, Stonewall rebellion, or simply Stonewall.
The Significance Of Pride Month
The first Pride march was held on June 28, 1970, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. The information available on the Library of Congress’ website states,
By all estimates, there were three to five thousand marchers at the inaugural Pride in New York City, and today marchers in New York City number in the millions. Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people have continued to gather together in June to march with Pride and demonstrate for equal rights.
In 2013, President Barack Obama cited Stonewall in his inaugural address, marking the first time in history that LGBTQ+ rights had been mentioned. He said,
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
What Does LGBTQ+ Stand For?
LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The plus at the end represents other sexual identities including pansexual, two-spirit, asexual, and ally.
LGBTQ+ Rights In India
The impact of increased protests and firm voices of the LGBTQ+ community across the world has been seen in India. On 6 September, 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. The ban is irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary, the judges said.
“We have to bid adieu to prejudices and empower all citizens,” said Chief Justice Misra, reading out what he said was a consensus judgment. The judges also said:
Any discrimination on the basis of sexuality amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.
The historic judgment acknowledged their struggle as it noted “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love.” The judges said:
Respect for individual choice is the essence of liberty; LGBT community possesses equal rights under the constitution.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via 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 – the LGBTQ 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 current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) 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, fight malnutrition, 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, that 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 like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.