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Why do We have Pride?


By Graziella Scerri



Didn’t we have enough Pride now?

The answer is a huge NO. Unfortunately, the world did not change completely, and there is still much more to be done!


Why do we celebrate Pride? It might seem a celebration full of colourful marches, parades, events and positive vibes, but there is so much more into its objectives. Pride is organized against violence and discrimination towards the LGBTIQ+ community that the world still practice. It focuses on equality of rights, celebration of gender variance and sexual diversity.



When does Pride take place? It is tradition in a number of cities that Prides events happen in June because of its history linked with the Stonewall Riots but various cities organize Pride Events throughout the year. This provide the opportunity for people to attend various pride marches around the world and let’s be honest one particular month is not enough for such exposure. We cannot sweep everything under the carpet for the rest of the year. Some of the largest attending pride events were New York World Pride (2019) with 4 to 5 million, Sao Paolo Brazil (2011) with 4 million and Madrid World Pride (2017) with a participation of around 3 million.


What about Malta? We organize pride during the month of September. It all started in 2004, with a low number of just 50 demonstrators. The achievement gained during these years reflect on the fact that we will be hosting EUROPRIDE in two years’ time.



Why did it all start? Around 50 years ago in New York City, being gay was still classified as mental illness. On 28th June 1969, a bar known to be frequented by an LGBT crowd - The Stonewall Inn was raided by the police for the second time. People were thrown in the streets and got beaten up. This caused anger and frustration amongst the LGBT community so they decided to fight back, triggering a week of protests. News of riots spread quickly all around the world inspiring others to join protests and challenge equality rights. In 1970, the first official Pride march took place in NY.


Does Pride still matter? Yes, nowadays certain individuals from all around the world are still being threatened, violently attacked and harassed for their gender identity or sexual orientation – also during Pride! Isn’t it ironic? Believe it or not in 2015, 10 people were left injured after being violently attacked during Pride which took place in Kyiv, Ukraine. Prides are a great opportunity to challenge transphobic and homophobic legislations around the world. Human rights can never be taken for granted, when change is possible. Until 2020, over 70 countries around the world considered being gay as an illegal crime. Capital punishment for consensual gay acts were also being imposed in 7 of these countries.


Is pride only for the LGBTIQ+ community? No, of course everyone is welcome. The more the merrier. Everyone is included. You can have a look at the Malta Pride week events on the website www.maltapride.org



References:

BBC news, (2019). https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/48796870

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