Pride Month in 2021
This Pride Month, Ian Lamond looks at how the Pride movement began, its intersectionality and its potential to make a better world for all.
Stonewall was, undoubtedly, a turning point in LGBTQI+ activism.
The uprising that grew following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, late on the 27th and into the early morning of the 28th of June 1969 galvanised many within the queer community struggling for recognition, greater legal freedoms, and equality.
The bar sits directly opposite a small park – Christopher Park. It is a compact triangle of trees, flowers, benches, and (now) a plaque and sculpture that both marks the difficult events of that night and celebrates the changes that have followed on from it.
On the first anniversary, a group of local activists celebrated with what was then called the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade. It is that parade which went on to form the foundation for Pride parades across the world.
LGBTQI+ activism has always, at its very core, been intersectional. The organising committee of the parade was no exception.
Pride month is consequently not simply a significant moment for reflection, remembrance, and celebration for the queer community, but it should also be a point where we all pause and hold ourselves to account.
Confronting ourselves by asking how open we are to the wonderful richness and complexity of that humanity of which we are a part?
The struggle for LGBTQI+ rights and freedoms did not begin with the Stonewall uprising in 1969, nor was it the point at which those sought for freedoms were achieved. The struggle is ongoing, continuous; global, national, regional, local, and personal.
If we are to truly work for an inclusive and welcoming community, the requirement to advocate for freedom and justice must be with us always, all the time, not just every June./p>
We must continue to challenge ourselves by asking what are we doing, today, to strive for a world that is better for us all?
Ian is an events researcher examining the conceptual foundations of event studies. His research interests intersect cultural studies; sociology; political/social theory, and anthropology. His work encompasses events of dissent; creativity and protest; events marking the end of life, and events of the 'other'.