HUMAN RIGHTS: Celebrating Pride & LGBTQIA This Month

Celebrating Pride

 

June is known as LGBT Pride Month because it celebrates the Stonewall Riots that took place in 1969. It may also just be coincidental that on June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court struck down all bans on same-sex marriage, which legalized marriage in all fifty states.

 

I, along with many Tumblr fans, always remember the date of 6/26 because the character Stitch from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch was experiment number 626. They created this awesome meme with Stitch and the pride flag posting it in the sand.

 

One of my best friends at the time—who then identified as a lesbian—and I went for drinks that evening to celebrate it too! We were so happy that she would be afforded the same opportunity to marry as I would.

 

Cities celebrate Pride Month with parades or other cool events. We have witnessed many marriages since federal legalization, including one in my family, my gorgeous cousin Chelsea married her beautiful wife Katie.

 

The world did not stop turning, nothing became unbalanced, the Earth did not fall out of orbit, and we as society are just as we were before.

 

As a society, we do ourselves an injustice by pretending that the other side does not exist. I cannot say that everyone is accepting or that everyone is accepted in their families, friend circles or communityeven though gay marriage was legalized in 2015. My friend shared an article with me that a Tennessee hardware store placed a “No Gays Allowed” sign back in their window. This was following an incident where a baker refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado.

 

I would like to say that I am surprised by something like this happening, but I’m not. Our unconscious bias (hello, nude colored anything), sexism (oh hey, glass ceiling) and racism still exist—yet we thought that Brown vs. Board of Education would solve that issue for us. So, why wouldn’t something like this occur too?

 

In the article, the hardware store owner said that, “Christianity is under attack” because less than ten percent of the population wants to marry whomever they are in love with. I think this was the most frustrating part of the article for me to read.

 

I belong to a church that is accepting of everyone and I follow the teaching and messages of a God that allows everyone to come together and worship. There is to be no segregation or discrimination and everyone is free to feast together. That is the world of Christianity that I believe in.

 

That is a world that I think many of us would like to believe in too. I have a hard time grasping how we can hate someone just for the color of their skin, the gender they identify as, where they were born or who they love. I think it’s important to recognize the injustice and the fact that everyone deserves to love and be loved regardless of these factors.

 

So, yes, this month is a pride-filled month, where we all get to celebrate something that should be recognized as normal human behavior. We can wear our rainbow outfits, we can show up to the parades or we can silently clap from the comfort of our couches.

 

Even if some day in the future, this worldwide acceptance becomes normalized, I hope we continue to celebrate this time to show how just how far we’ve come and how far we can continue to go.

 

I wish for a world where people recognize social injustices and will fight for them if they think it’s worth it. Truly, it is always worth fighting for something you believe in and I believe in human rights. After all, Stitch said it best… “Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind.”

 

Bridget

Bridget Marley is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University's Public Health Department. She spends her time educating adults and youth on public health initiatives. She is an avid coffee drinker, a new lifestyle writer for She's It, has an animal obsession, and is just trying to find her niche in this world.