As Pride month comes to a close at thegayuk.com, it doesn’t mean that Pride has to come to an end for the year.
Pride has become many things to many people. It is a celebration of diversity, a political statement, a protest, a party and a way to bring together the community. It invites and welcomes everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality. What is always surprising about Pride is how it brings out people from all corners of the LGBT community who wouldn’t normally come together. For those who are not out or struggling with their sexuality, Pride is a way to feel empowered, by being surrounded by a huge amount of people proving that you are not alone. For others who enjoy going out on the scene, it is a chance to meet new and old friends, go to different towns and cities and a chance to simply have a great time. But what Pride does do very well is bring to the attention of the general public just how many LGBT people are out there and shows them that, actually, those marching or partying in the park are really not that different to them.
Breaking down stereotypes that have long been established is part of what Pride is about. Whilst some people may argue that Pride reinforces stereotypes given the number of pink feather boas on display at times, what it also does is show that there are other sections within the gay community – the armed forces, rugby teams, the emergency services and lawyers to name a few – and shows just how diverse gay people can be. There is still, unfortunately, that old fashioned view held by some people that gay men are effeminate whereas lesbians are not. Pride shows them that the LGBT community are also doing jobs and activities which are or have been traditionally occupied by manly men and straight women.
That is one of the most important things about Pride. It shows that gay men, gay women, transgender men and women and bisexual men and women are actually no different from anyone else. They work in factories, in laboratories, in offices, in shops and in the public services. They do the same leisure activities as everyone else, from scuba diving to baking, football to gardening. It is this breaking down of preconceptions which is one of the most important aspects of Pride and helps to reduce prejudice.
But why should this be limited to one day or one weekend per year? Surely every day can be Pride day? There are those who are very open about their sexuality, those who are out in their place of employment or at the clubs and groups that they attend and those who are very vocal about their sexuality. But then there are those who are open and honest about their sexuality but go about their business without much fuss or constant references to the fact that they are gay. Both of these approaches are equally as important.
There are ways to show pride every day. Sometimes, a rainbow flag sticker on the rear window of the car, a pink triangle on your coffee mug at work, a red ribbon on your lapel or even just a casual mention of your partner can do just as much for breaking down stereotypes, reducing prejudice and showing how those that are often seen as “different” can actually fit quite easily into the world. This is not about a huge party, it is not about taking over the local park and it is not about coming together in huge numbers for pride to be prevalent. It is showing pride in your sexuality every day. It is breaking down those prejudices on a daily basis. It is normalising the fact that your sexuality does not place limits on your abilities at work or influence your leisure activities.
There is a Pride event taking place every single day of the year – and the venue is your desk, your club, your group, your factory floor, your supermarket and everywhere else that you go to either for work or for leisure.
Isn’t that real Pride?
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In between visits to the theatre, watching films, photography, walking, scuba diving and singing (badly); Paul writes for TheGayUK.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.