The month of June is not just a moment in which we realise that we're almost half-way through the year! It's also the month in which we celebrate Pride!
For us at Your Pleasure Toys however, it's a year-long celebration, and we're always finding new ways to be inclusive with our range of various toys!
But even though the different forms of celebrations around the world are often associated with freedom, happiness, and acceptance, it wasn't always so.
In fact, it took quite a lot for us to finally reach a place where we can participate in appreciating and embracing minority groups. Let's go on a quick history lesson...
Why is Pride in June?
June has been chosen as Pride Month as a homage to the Stonewall Uprising (also called The Stonewall Riots) which took place in New York City in June 1969.
What is Pride All About?
It all started on June 28th 1969, in the early hours of the morning, when the police raided a gay club called Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. The raid included grabbing patrons and staff and hauling them out of the bar in a horrific manner.
This lead to a six-day protest outside of the bar and in the surrounding streets, with violent altercations with law enforcement. Since, the Stonewall Uprising which resulted in the protest has been known as a historical moment and a catalyst for the gay rights movement around the world.
Conditions Pre-StoneWall Riot
While we can say that something entirely meaningful and life-changing occurred due to the Stonewall Riot, the conditions prior to the raid and the protest were inhumane to say the least.
During the 1960's, solicitation of same-sex relations were illegal in New York City, and the New York State Liquor Authority would shut down places that served alcohol to suspected LGBT people.
It was only in 1966 that this regulation was overturned, yet raids and unfair treatment was still rife in the city of New York, in America, and worldwide.
Then, when the Stonewall Inn opened, it gave those belonging to the LGBT community a safe space to dance, be themselves, and dress in drag. This establishment, whilst corrupt, was more open-mined and welcoming of the LGBT community and thus made a name for itself as a nightly home.
What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand for?
While initially the acronym was simply LGBT, it has since extended to LGBTQIA+.
LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual, while the + stands for those who are an ally of the community.
For some, there is an added P and D, which stands for Pansexual and Demi-Sexual.
What do these words means?
- Lesbian: One who identifies as a woman and who is sexually and or emotionally attracted to other identified women
- Gay: One who identifies as a man and who is sexually and or emotionally attracted to other identified men
- Bisexual: Someone who is sexually and or emotionally attracted to more than one gender
- Transgender: One who doesn't conform with or identify as the gender they were assigned at birth
- Queer: An umbrella term for those who aren't heterosexual or cisgendered
- Cisgender: Cisgendered individuals identify with the gender they were assigned at birth
- Intersex: One who has biological traits that don't match what is typically identified as male or female
- Asexual: One who has low or no sexual desire
- Pansexual: One who is sexually and or romantically attracted to someone regardless of their sex or gender identity
- Demi-Sexual: One who develops a sexual attraction after an emotional bond, romantic or not, has been formed
Celebrating Diversity: The LBGTQIA+ Flag
The colourful LGBTQIA+ flag can be recognised worldwide! It was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978, an American artist, gay rights activist, and U.S. Army veteran
It's a beautiful symbol, reminder, and important icon of the community, with each colour representing an aspect of the community.
The most well-known pride flag is comprised of:
- Red symbolising Life
- Orange symbolising Healing
- Yellow symbolising Sunlight
- Green symbolising Nature
- Blue symbolising Harmony
- Violet symbolising Spirit
And later, more colours were added to be more inclusive of those who identify as pansexual, asexual, intersex, poly sexual, gender fluid, queer, and non-binary.
How do People Celebrate Pride Around the World?
In various locations worldwide, there is a chance to celebrate Pride! Here are some of the events that pay tribute to and honour those in the LGBTQIA+ community:
- Tel Aviv, Israel: in the Middle East, the Pride parade is the biggest in Tel Aviv.
- London, England: Thousands go on a march through Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, and Trafalgar Square
- Tapei, Taiwan: The biggest Pride celebration in Asia is in Tapei, and has grown larger of late due to the passing of the same-sex marriage bill
- Berlin, Germany: Nearly half a million people gather for Pride in Berlin, and this event is usually called Christopher Street Day
- Reykjavik, Iceland: A big celebration has been taking place in Reykjavik since 1999, and today Pride lasts for a wonderful 10 days.
LGBTQIA+ Literature to Add to Your Reading List
If you're hoping to add some LGBTQIA+ literature to your reading list, we highly recommend the following books:
- We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown
- Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
- On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
- Fairest by Meredith Talusan
- Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
Now's the perfect time to educate, learn, and get involved in the movement of acceptance, inclusivity, and love for everyone!