Pride month is a time when we look at where we’ve been and where we want to go in the future.
Looking Back With Pride
One of the things that Pride gives us is an opportunity to tell stories. Often these are personal experiences, covering everything from anecdotes about coming out to family and friends to talking about our everyday experiences, good and bad, as members of the LGBT community.
Hearing from members of our community about a time when people like us were openly vilified, whose behaviour was criminalised, helps to set an understanding of how far we have come. While homophobic and transphobic abuse still exist, it is not the norm and increasingly these old and ugly ways of behaving are declining.
Pride is also a time to look back at how elements of LGBT social and cultural life has changed. From a marginalised niche for “outsiders” to an integrated part of the most popular cultural works, gay representation in mainstream culture has moved from the queer coding of villains to a place where the inclusion of LGBT characters or concepts no longer elicits the fever dream witch burning vehemence it once did.
Proudly Looking Forward
Knowing where our community was fifty years ago, helps us form an idea of where it might be fifty years from now. It helps us to see things as possible, rather than purely hopeful.
Our history also tells us that change is not immediate, very rarely do social attitudes advance in a short period of time. So we must be patient, but no less passionate, about the changes our society needs to go through. And Pride is one of the ways in which we continue to normalise society’s attitude.
Pride is a chance to show the best of our community. To demonstrate the everyday nature of our community alongside the bright lights and celebration of a diverse group, rich with ethnic, gender and cultural diversity.
We become accustomed to something through repetition. Pride is our society’s repetition. Each year we take time to talk about our experiences to those around us, discuss cultural representation and socio-political freedoms. Showing ourselves in our everyday person-on-the-street work clothes, or dressed up for the most thrilling night out.
Pride is repetition, not just amongst ourselves but with everyone in our society.