Someone asked me a very interesting question today- “Why do gays celebrate pride” This really got me thinking and because I didn’t want to rattle off the usual answers, I did a bit of soul-searching and this is what I came up with.
We celebrate pride for many reasons. It could be personal, it could be political or it could be radical. From the historic Stonewall Riots in NYC to the bathhouse raids in Toronto, pride is drenched in tremendous historic merit. The right to celebrate was not given to us, it was earned. So to celebrate pride means to remember and be thankful to those who took a stand for us to be able to live freely today.
We celebrate pride to give hope to the millions of people out there who can’t be themselves without facing personal harm. We do it to show kids who are being bullied that they aren’t alone, that they have an inclusive community to grow into. We do it to rub it in the faces of the homophobic members of society. To show them that their opinion of us doesn’t matter and we will demand the respect we deserve.
Some say the activism and sense of community has vanished from pride. But I beg to differ. As long as we have the right to march and we don’t take our civil rights for granted, we are showing the world that we are still a force to be reckoned with and we are here to stay.