10 reasons why Pride Month is needed

Julia Lorber
Julia Lorber
Millenial & plant-based Foodie mit Feminismus im Blut und einer ausgeprägten Liebe zu Wörtern, Menschen- und Hundebabys. Prosecco-trinkende Philanthropin mit Sehnsucht nach fernen Orten, Interesse an der menschlichen Psyche und einem Hang zu den schönen Künsten. Spa Babe mit Tiefgang.

It’s that time again, we are in the middle of June, and thus also in the middle of Pride Month. Those who live in urban areas will have seen the many rainbow flags that adorn government buildings, schools, public transport and some businesses for four weeks once a year. Following the violent Stonewall Riots and the subsequent protest of LGBTIQ* people in NYC in 1969 – also known as the first Christopher Street Day (CSD) – we celebrate Pride Month in June to help still stigmatised minorities gain more visibility. Today we present to you why this is still absolutely necessary in 2023:

1) Discrimination still exists and has many faces. From the fear of coming out in the workplace to discrimination when looking for a flat, “catcalling” on the street or in the club to hate comments on the internet. We even got these for the photo on the right, which we recently posted on social media. Unbelievable what we had to read (and delete!) about it. This sight is “disgusting”, and should not be “expected of children” and much more. We clearly distance ourselves from this!

(c) Dragan Dokmanovic
2) According to representative surveys, 61% of LGBTIQ* couples, i.e. six out of ten couples, do not dare to hold hands in public. 3) People still talk about coming out when it comes to non-heterosexual ways of life and relationships. We say: love is love! It shouldn’t have been necessary to “come out” for a long time, after all, straight people don’t have to take this step either, which is often still associated with so much fear, shame and suffering. Quite a few queers are still rejected by family members because they love who they want. 4) LGBTIQ* club venues are regularly targeted for vandalism, also in Austria. In the most recent attack on the Gugg, the centre of the Homosexual Initiative (HOSI) Vienna, a large rainbow flag was once again torn apart about a fortnight ago. Again and again, there is the destruction of flags, smashed windows, smeared walls and even painted-over rainbow zebra crossings in city traffic. So it’s no wonder that many queer people don’t feel safe on the streets. 5) Pride merch in shops leads to rioting! Recently, news from the USA made global headlines after the megastore Target launched a Pride collection. The reason: Angry Republicans vandalised sales stands and set-ups because they are against this “bad message towards children”. Publicly rioting is of course much more exemplary. The same thing happened recently with beer bottles thrown from the shelves after a well-known American beer brand promoted its Pride Edition. The sad consequence of the action: in some supermarkets, the products were no longer presented, which caused a lot of criticism and was seen as a concession to the angry citizens.

6) Conversion therapies are not yet prohibited in Austria. These conversion attempts, which aim to make people straight, can legally take place. According to reports from the USA, electric shocks are even used there in some places to lead to a change of character. These “therapies” do not live up to their name – instead of healing something, they create trauma. By the way, the background is religious and comes from the evangelical movement.

7) A new wave of anti-LGBTIQ* laws is spreading worldwide. Especially the issue of transsexuality is currently being criminalised. From republican parts of America to Europe, where rights are being curtailed again and again in countries of the East. The African country of Uganda recently caused particular outrage after its already strict anti-LGBTIQ* laws were made even stricter and can now be punished with the death penalty in “serious cases”. In Germany, meanwhile, the AfD is calling for “Pride Month” to put the rainbow propaganda that is impossible for their beliefs in its place on social media. The aim is to stand up to Pride Month. After all, it would only need three colours: black, red and gold.

8) The current debate about children’s readings by drag queens is being politically instrumentalised. This is simply about children being read to by people who are colourfully and elaborately dressed up – something that children are known to love. For what? To signal that diversity is something beautiful. That even boys are allowed to wear a dress once in a while if they enjoy it. That nail polish has no gender. Not to mention the messages of the inclusive stories in the books. What the right-wing fringe does with them, on the other hand, is pure agitation. Fear mongering is used and it is suggested that drag queens sexualise kids and present them with smutty content that is not age-appropriate. At the demo against these readings (bad enough that such readings take place at all!), charges against the Prohibition Act were recorded. Again, the question arises (not really) whether a Hitler salute might not be a more harmful influence on a child than a man in disguise. Last year the entrance to a library was actually bricked up before a drag reading. WALLED UP. I have nothing more to say about that.

(c) Knesebeck Verlag
(c) Gaytimes

9) Pride parades are banned in many countries around the world, including in Europe. Those who take part in these demos risk arrest and violence. At the forefront: Serbia, Russia, and Turkey.

10) Violent crimes against LGBTIQ* persons are continuously increasing. While the German statistics portal Statista recorded 10 violent crimes against LGBTIQ* people recorded by the police in 2001, in 2022 there were 227! The figure has thus increased twentyfold in twenty years! Think of the number of unreported cases and of countries where homosexuality and transsexuality are even less accepted in society. Deadly sad. Every victim is one too many!

All images, except where noted, are from Unsplash.

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