What is Pride Month All About?

And How You Can Honor it

What is Pride Month All About?

By Juliana Lee, Junior Editor

June is the month all about LGBTQ+ Pride and celebrating genuine love no matter what form it takes. In order to understand how to celebrate this month, one needs to understand what LGBTQ+ actually means.

The LGBTQ+ community stands for lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer. The “+” stands for those that fall under the queer umbrella meaning people who identify as intersex, asexual, demisexual, non-binary, gender fluid, pansexual, polyamorous, or questioning. And June is the month that is dedicated to these groups and serves “to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.” From the Stonewall riots to fighting for marriage rights, the community has fought, persevered, and made their mark for the greater good. It truly is all about recognizing their courage and honoring the sacrafices they have made. The community continues to achieve rights and milestones such as gaining cabinet positions, being congresspeople, repealing the ban on transgender people in the military, and proclaiming that federal law protects workers who are LGBTQ+. Considering that more people are identifying with this community (5.6 percent of adults identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in 2021, rising from 4.5 percent in 2017), the month and the issues it highlights becomes increasingly relevant.

The month also acknowledges and memoralizes those who have fallen to hate crimes such as Matthew Shepard. Many have been the target of people who have acted violently on their own ideology and their own ideas of normalcy. It truly is unfortunate, but the month focuses on not forgetting those who have innocently died. Hate crimes and as well as harmful stereotypes/stigmas towards LGBTQ+ people have caused people to result in suicide. According to the Trevor Project, “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth” and “12% of white youth attempted suicide compared to 31% of Native/Indigenous youth, 21% of Black youth, 21% of multiracial youth, 18% of Latinx youth, and 12% of Asian/Pacific Islander youth.” It is truly tragic that the reason why so many of the Gen-Z youth and upcoming generations face harsh social situations is solely because their way of love is “different”. Pride month exists in order for those who idenity with this community to find solace as well in the support of people who do and do not identify with this community.

Eunho Jung,  a junior at Hills, supports the community and believes that “Pride Month is celebrating the statement ‘Love is Love,'”. She also says”It’s crazy to think that gay marriage was legalized only 6 years ago. The best way to show support for the LGBTQ+ community is by standing in solitary with the community. I personally will be donating to the Trevor Project, which is a great organization to check out.”

However, although June starts and ends in thirty days, Pride celebration and support does not stop. When Pride month ends, it does not signify that these people’s rights and history do not matter anymore. It does the exact opposite and raises awareness and attention towards this community. Educating oneself about their rights should continue, and the passion to learn about and support them should not stop. This not only goes for Pride Month, but for Women’s Month, Asian American and Pacifc Islander Month, and Black History Month. It is certainly a heavy task to take on, but one that is needed to progress as a society. So play your part. Learn. Teach. Spread the word. And especially, love.