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A Splash of Color: Celebrating Gay Pride Month
Experience and understand one of the most colorful annual summer events
June is a very colorful month and it’s not just because summer has arrived. One of the most colorful events this season is the annual Gay Pride Parade or Pride March that happens in many parts of the world. Here are some fast facts and other information about this colorful occasion:
In the Beginning
The Annual Pride March commemorates the Stonewall Riot back in June 1969 when many still did not understand homosexuality, and lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transvestites (LGBT) were highly marginalized in society. The Stonewall Riot marked the first time that many LGBT resisted arrest and it also sparked the beginning of the modern gay rights movements. If you’re wondering why it was called a Stonewall Riot, it’s because the harassment and forced questioning by law enforcement officials happened in Stonewall Inn where many from the gay community hung out.
Raise the Flag
The LGBT Pride Flag or “the Rainbow flag,” known for its rainbow-colored pattern, has been used since the 1970s as a symbol of gay pride. It’s not just that members of the LGBT community have colorful personalities, but the colors actually reflect the diversity of the people within the LGBT community.
Chants and Anthems
There is not one chant or anthem that represents the LGBT community as a whole. Each chapter or country has their own chants and anthems that best represent their situation. What is common with all these chants and anthems are the themes revolving around strength, self-esteem, search for acceptance, “you” are not alone, transcending cultural shame, and others that direct attention to the circumstance that many from the LGBT community endure. It can be a song written by a community or a famous song such as Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.”
Current Trend and Icons
While famous LGBTs remained in the closet in the past out of shame or fear of being marginalized by society, more and more celebrities celebrate their sexual orientation openly now. Two famous LGBT icons are comedienne and host Ellen DeGeneres and singer-songwriter Elton John. After they came out, they had a bad career run but came back successfully, still proud in spite of all the odds and people against their sexuality. Their experiences served as an inspiration to others and this is why two of the top gay sites, AfterEllen.com which caters to lesbians and theBacklot.com (formerly AfterElton.com) which caters to gay men, are named after them. Many people, celebrities and otherwise, drew courage from Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John, and a good number of still-successful celebrities have come out since.
The Annual Pride March
To commemorate the violent beginnings of gay rights movements, the annual Gay Pride Parade was launched in New York City. At present, many countries celebrate gay pride month and launch their own marches with the usual color and cheer.
Just this first half of 2013, Illinois and Colorado legalized gay marriage and passed a Civil Unions Law, respectively, to lawfully acknowledge the union of gay couples in their state. Treetopia gave away a Rainbow Arch to commemorate and celebrate the occasion to The Miramonte Lodge in Colorado.
If you’re still wondering what it means to celebrate Gay Pride Month, there’s only a simple answer for it: to celebrate this colorful occasion is to celebrate love and acceptance in all its forms, whether many people agree or not.by