What’s the first thing that you think of when you think of Pride? Maybe it’s rainbows, parades, or colorful wigs. That’s definitely a part of Pride, but we also want to take some time to dig in a little more. In our blog post at the beginning of the month, we talked a little bit about the origins of Pride (check it out here: https://safeplaceforhope.org/blog1/view/915/honoring_pride_month). Essentially, after years of oppression, killings, arrests, and persecution, a bar was raided and the LGBTQ+ community fought back (https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/). This was known as the Stonewall Uprising. After that, legislature was passed that decriminalized homosexuality. One year after the Stonewall Uprising, the LGBTQ+ community and allies gathered to march to remember the “centuries of abuse….from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-Homosexual laws” (Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Fliers, Franklin Kameny Papers), honor the Stonewall Uprising, and celebrate liberation from criminalization.
Another integral part of Pride is the Pride flag.
In 1977, Gilbert Baker created the Pride flag as a symbol of Pride. He was inspired by Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and each color of the flag has a meaning. Pink is for sex, red is for life, orange is for healing, yellow is for sunlight, green is for nature, turquoise is for magic/art, indigo is for serenity, and purple is for spirit (https://www.pride.com/pride/2018/6/13/complete-guide-queer-pride-flags-0#media-gallery-media-2).
You may also see this Pride Flag
This Pride flag was created in Philedelphia to promote inclusion of people of color.
There are also Pride flags for each sexuality, gender expression, and romantic interest.
Another symbol that we also often see associated with Pride is an inverted triangle.
In Nazi Germany, people imprisoned in concentration camps were denoted by different triangle symbols. Green triangles were prisoners, red triangles were political prisoners, two triangles overlapped into the star of David were Jewish prisoners, and pink triangles were homosexual prisoners. In the ‘70s, the triangle was reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a remembrance to past and present oppression and to “[represent] pride, solidarity, and a promise to never allow another Holocaust to happen again.” (https://algbtical.org/2A%20SYMBOLS.htm)
Exploring these aspects of Pride may feel like a bit of a history lesson, but it is incredibly important to understand the importance of Pride. When looking at where Pride came from, we can see how far we’ve come and celebrate that, as well as how far we still have to go and commit ourselves to allyship, inclusion, and empowerment.
While we learn that Pride is more than a parade, we also are mindful that Pride is more than a month. We LOVE awareness months but we know that violence, oppression, and identity exist outside of awareness months and that support and education need to continue 24/7/365.
Here are some ideas to honor Pride year-round:
- Look at representation. Read and watch LGBTQ+ authors, writers, directors, and actors and follow LGBTQ+ folks on social media.
- Learn. Find out more about the history of LGBTQ+ oppression, take LGBTQ+ trainings, and listen to LGBTQ+ voices. Know that often we can learn new information that changes our perspectives and that is okay.
- Engage. Join an allyship club, meeting, or organization.
- Empower. We can impact people every day on the individual level by being empowering, safe, and welcoming people.
- Hang a sign showing all are welcome.
- Do not assume sexuality or gender expression. Approach all people with curiosity rather than assumption.
- Provide your pronouns to show that you are a safe person and allow many options for pronouns and titles.
- Do not probe or ask invasive questions.
- Respect boundaries and consent.
- Respect gender identities, expressions, and pronouns. Do not invalidate or try to change those identities, expressions, or pronouns.
- When finding resources or referrals for LGBTQ+ individuals, make sure they are safe before referring. Conversion therapy still exists in Indiana and some medical providers and therapy providers are not LGBTQ+ inclusive.
- Teach inclusive healthy sexuality and consent. Often healthy sexuality and consent is talked about in an inclusive and comprehensive way. This further marginalizes and makes vulnerable LGBTQ+ folks.
- Use gender inclusive language and be mindful of harmful gender stereotypes, normalization, jokes, and slurs. These things are at the core of what causes and normalizes violence.
For our friends in the LGBTQ+ community, know that we see you, we are here for you, and we are proud of you. Know that it is okay for you set your boundaries and keep them, and that no one should overstep your boundaries or comfort. Know that you deserve to be safe, healthy, and validated. You are important, valuable, and valued. Call us if you need anything 812-932-7233.