Pride is a celebration where queer people of all identifications, backgrounds and heritages come together to celebrate how proud we are to be queer. Watching a sea of people just glittered with a whole spectrum of colours is enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face (or so you would think). Many think the concept of pride is now outdated and we no longer need it. I have come across many people that have had different opinions towards pride; some thrived off of it, some were indifferent, and others were opposed to it. So, let’s talk about some of the reasons why people think that we no longer need pride:
• “It just brings attention to the fact we’re different” - This one has always really annoyed me. This concept comes from a place of internalised homophobia and contempt towards other queer people. The mindset here is that we need to blend in to be accepted, we need to appear like mainstream society and should be quiet about who we are in order to be tolerated. But what many people seem to forget is the struggles that our predecessors had to go through to get us to this place. The founders and initiators of the pride parade started the movement to fight for our rights. We did not get our rights by blending in and appeasing the masses, it was this that led to greater oppression as we were showing society that we had something to be afraid of. So, yes, whether you like it or not we are different. EVERYONE is different. No two people are the same and that is definitely something to be celebrated.
• “We have our rights, so why do we still need pride?” - This mentality comes from a place of privilege. This acknowledges that on the face of it we may have equal or near equal rights. But there is not only strong subvert oppression in western society’s but continuous overt oppression in other nations. Pride is not just a celebration of how far we have come, it is a display of fierce resilience. We are showing other communities that are yet to be treated as equal that with time, progress will be made. If you are a queer person that is settled in privilege, then you are ignoring the fact that there is still work to be done. There are overt transphobic figures, (JK Rowling) that are not only using their platform to promote transphobic ideologies but are now writing a fucking BOOK about it, masquerading as a novel. Girl, you’re not fooling anyone. Until we can truly live peacefully, without fear, then there is still work to be done.
• “It’s so promiscuous, not everything’s about sex” - As queer people, we are shunned and abused for our sexual activities. It is the very thing that we have been persecuted for, for generations. Pride, again, is a way of showing that we will not be oppressed. That we are allowed to be who we are, that we are not ashamed. The community has become hyper-sexualised and here’s why. Whilst our heterosexual counterparts were having their first kiss or even had a relationship, we were having to stare at the box of some Calvin’s with confusion about our feelings. We didn’t have the same experiences growing up. Hookup culture has become normalised, which to some is toxic and to some is not. I personally do not enjoy hookup culture, but it people can do what makes them happy so long as no one gets hurt. Before we were legally allowed to be gay, having discreet hookup’s is all we knew, and so it is a mindset that some of us still carry. So, before judging queer people or pride as promiscuous, just have a think about why that might be.
So, do we still need pride? The short answer is yes. Pride isn’t just a celebration, it’s a continual fight for liberation and equality. The more representation we have, the more normal it will seem. The reason we need wider representation in the mainstream media is so that younger generations will grow up being accustomed to queer people and won’t have to question it. Society is ever-changing, same-sex marriage was only legalised in the UK six years ago…SIX. That meant that for the first 15 years of my life it would have been illegal for someone like me to marry, so people of the same generation as me will have been brought up being told that being queer was not normal and not acceptable. So long as we carry on fighting, more and more generations will be brought up with queer people being normalised, and we will gradually be raised in a more accepting society.