By Nathan Findlay –
Pride month is celebrated every June in tribute to all the people involved in the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. Pride Day is celebrated on 28 June, which marks the date the first Pride march was held.
As a result, each year, parades, festivals and concerts take place across the globe. The month is a celebration but is also a time to recognise and raise voices against discrimination, to educate and spread awareness for LGBTQ+ communities’ rights around the world.
Last year, many of the usual festivals and parades had to switch over to online events due to the coronavirus. Since then, there have been changes in the UK, including the vaccine roll-out and decreased number of cases. The changes now mean there may be a higher chance for events to take place in person.
Yearly pride events attract many people to them each year, millions across the globe. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries put in restrictions last year to keep people safe. Last year, the Denver Pride parade attracted over 400,000 people over Facebook live.
Social media has been a massive benefit towards enabling people to celebrate while keeping people safe and the Denver Pride is just one great example of this.
This year we will be expecting to see more virtual events, especially as many countries continue to be in a vulnerable position with COVID-19. For many countries, decisions will need to be made based on the number of cases and the number of vaccinated people before letting big events occur.
Some of the biggest parades take place in New York – the birthplace of Pride-, Madrid, Brazil. More locally, there have been pride parades in Huddersfield, Leeds and many more.
The Sao Paulo, Brazil pride parade is on record the largest pride parade attracting around 3-5 million people each year, which is just a staggering amount for one parade. There is also another Brazillian pride parade in Rio, which attracts an impressive 2 million people.
Why is Pride month Important?
Pride month is so important; it is about visibility, belonging, celebration, but also an important time to advocate and recognise LGBTQ+ communities rights. To this day, across the globe, several countries still have laws in place that go against people’s rights.
There are a shocking 70 countries where being part of the LGBTQ+ community is classed as a crime. Seven countries, specifically Brunei, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan, actively impose capital punishment.
Recognising that there is still progress to be made worldwide is just one of the many reasons that pride month is a necessary yearly event.