Why is Pride Important?

Why is Pride Important?

Welcome back to another Kingdom Pride blog! Today we will be talking about the celebration of Pride from its origins to its relevance in the modern world. Many people both in and out of the community wonder why we celebrate Pride at all, don't we have all our rights? Do we need to announce to the world every June we are people of the LGBTQ+ Community? Well as we will discuss we will uncover why the need to celebrate Pride will always be needed in Ireland and across the world. Let's dive in!


The LGBTQ+ Community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus) has faced many ups and downs in its history, with acceptance going back and forward over the centuries. Homosexuality was practiced and tolerated over the course of the Middle Ages but a hard crackdown on such behavior would come into place throughout the 17th century sealing the faith of the community for years to come. Many religions openly condemned the act of homosexuality which was another factor in the spread of this oppression. 

Homosexuals at this time would have to live very secretive lives as it became illegal to participate in such acts. Living such a life was difficult and dangerous for if caught one would be faced with severe punishment with one known sentence being the death penalty until the 19th century when it was replaced in many countries with Life Imprisonment. Other methods included Conversion Therapy beginning as far back as 1899 with the idea that homosexuality was a choice and not something you were born with. Some treatment methods included electroconvulsive therapy and many other unethical practices with the goal of "curing" the patient.

Despite the first Gay Rights Organisation being founded in Berlin, Germany in 1897, homosexuals would not escape the hardships of bigotry throughout the 20th century and would also bear witness to the horror within the Concentration Camps imposed under the Nazi Regime. An estimated 57,000 were convicted of this charge.

In the years following the end of World War II, anti-homosexuality laws were increased throughout the United States and Europe. Homosexuality would eventually be labeled by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder in 1952 remaining as such until 1974.

Homosexuals in this time would still face many hardships. If found out it wasn't uncommon for many to be thrown out of their family homes in disgrace. Many of these young people would flock to the cities with the aim of finding other like-minded people, resulting in the formation of large gay communities in these areas. It was in one such community in New York City that brought about the first major gay rights movement which would change the course of history for the LGBTQ+ Community.

The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar located in Greenwich Village, New York. The origins of the in was to act as a speakeasy and became a haven for homosexuals and cross-dressers. The presence of underground gay bars skyrocketed through the 50s and 60s mostly run by organised crime groups but despite such groups paying off the higher-ups police raids were still a common and brutal occurrence.

One such police raid took place in the early hours of June 28th, 1969. Police raids usually took place early in the evening however this night they raided the Stonewall Inn at 1.20am. The mixture of the late raid and the excessive force of the police angered the patrons who became uncooperative. Cross-dressers refused to confirm their gender and people refused to show police identification.

Those who were not arrested were thrown out on the street, however, this night they would not leave. As a crowd began to build of patrons and bystanders, some began to mock and jeer at the police, until they began hauling out people arrested within the bar. The crowd now became violent, they had had enough. As more people were now arriving to see the commotion the crowd began throwing bottles and pennies at the police, escalating into rocks and bricks. This was the result of a community that had been stepped on and looked down upon for years, they were now fighting to be heard.

Some police barricaded themselves in the bar itself as reinforcements began to arrive, however as news broke the following day and thousands more gays and allies arrived it was clear they were outnumbered. For the next 5 days, gay people began openly showing their affection in public, dispersed flyers to legalise gay bars and people like Marsha P Johnson were standing up with pride. It was truly liberating.

The following year the "Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day" march was held to mark the year anniversary of the riots. In the years to follow more marches were held in America and across the world for the rights of what would eventually be known as the LGBTQ+ Community. These marches would eventually evolve into today's Pride Parades as people became more comfortable taking pride in who they are. 

Over the following decades, the LGBTQ+ Community would face more hardships such as the Aids Epidemic, and the fight for Mariage Equality. To this day some people are still targeted and attacked with some parts of the world still having laws in place against LGBTQ+ Rights, with some countries still carrying the death penalty as punishment.

So why is it important to celebrate pride today? While it seems the world has become a more accepting place to the naked eye, when you peel back the layers you can still see the same hate and bigotry that existed for years. We still live in a world where people are targeted, assaulted, or even killed for their sexual orientation alone. These facts make it hard for people to accept themselves for who they are. They may think it's better to stay in the closet with a large percentage contemplating suicide and even more going through with it.

Pride Month is held in June every year to honor the memory of the Stonewall Riots with June 28th, 2024 marking the 55th anniversary of the riots. We owe it to the people who fought for our rights back then to continue the fight against hate and bigotry for future generations, to provide that support for those who struggle, for those who question, for those who don't know. Pride is more than just accepting ourselves, it is also the mission to spread the message of love across the world in the hopes that we make every corner of the world a safe place for those in the LGBTQ+ Community. 

And to those of you in the closet or struggling with your identity just remember, we are still here, we are still queer, and you are not alone!


LGBTQ+ Helplines

If you or someone you know are struggling with identity, information, or any other matters, we have supplied helpful resources for Co Kerry down below. If you are based outside of Kerry, please look into your local resources via the "National Supports" for Ireland. 

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