Countries across the globe celebrate Pride through a variety of events each year but many individuals have stated that it has lost its purpose and with the progress made in the past fifty years, Pride is no longer necessary.
In the 21st century, it is essential more than ever to continue the annual Pride celebrations for the past, current and future generations of the LGBT+ community. The events give the community the opportunity and safe place to freely be themselves without fear of discrimination or harm.
The earliest Pride event is hugely disputed with some considering the Stonewall Riots in America in 1970 as the official first whilst others believe it took place in 1971 for the anniversary of the Riots. As time passes, the celebration has branched across the world in many forms.
The first official Pride in the U.K took place in 1972 on July 1 with 2000 individuals participating in a march through the streets of London. In 2018, Pride events have blossomed with Pride in London now a month-long event finishing with a festival in Trafalgar Square, a parade consisting of thousands of people on the streets of London along with celebrations throughout the capital city.
Through my own experience of attending Pride in London for the previous two years, I have received nothing but warmth from the attendees, volunteers, and staff. Feeling safer at a Pride event regarding my sexuality rather than my hometown is a valid reason that represents why the occasion is still needed. The LGBT+ community still fear hatred and discrimination regarding their gender or sexuality.
Pride events do not consist of just campaigning for equality in that specific country but focus on the world as a whole including the 72 countries where homosexuality is illegal.
The U.K has faced huge progress within the LGBT+ community including the legalisation of same-sex marriage, full equality is still lacking with hate crimes towards the LGBT+ community still prevalent. The latest Stonewall study revealed that one in five LGBT+ people in the U.K have experienced a hate crime due to their sexuality or gender identity within the last 12 months.
There is still so much work that is needed for all corners of the LGBT+ community to reach any level of the equality. As much as there has been a large amount of progress in the past century alone, much more needs to be done to climb further which includes the continuation of Pride.
Globally, Pride is essential for not only the current LGBT+ community but the past and future generations.