Elevating pride over prejudice
June brings about a great deal of exciting holidays. However, one of the most well-known developments is the celebration and creation of June coined “Pride.” Pride first originated after the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. Members of the gay community sought fair and equal rights leading to a series of marches for gay rights.
It took great patience to fulfill this demand and in 1999 President Bill Clinton declared June as “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” In 2009, President Barack Obama declared the month of June “LGBT Pride Month.” Finally, in 2021, President Joe Biden declared the month of June “LGBTQ Pride Month”. Pride Month is a celebratory and educational month for all people and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
According to the HRC or Human Rights Campaign, “Pride is a joyful celebration of all of the beautiful identities of our LGBTQ+ community. We create spaces where we can bring our whole selves to dance and march in the streets and declare: We are here. We are visible. We are proud!”
It is important to understand the various terms included in the acronym and community. The acronym has now expanded to LGBTQIA+ to include several terms and create clarity amongst all members and is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Instersex and Asexual.
The first letter in the acronym is L which stands for lesbian. According to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (gaycenter.org), is a woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay or as gay women.
The G stands for gay and are defined as people whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex. Sometimes lesbian is the preferred term for women.
The B stands for bisexual, A person who can form enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions to those of the same gender or more than one gender. People may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime. Bisexual people need not have had specific sexual experiences to be bisexual; they need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual.
The T stands for transgender, an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms–including transgender or nonbinary.
The Q stands for queer and questioning. Queer is an adjective used by some people whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual or straight. This umbrella term includes people who have nonbinary, gender-fluid, or gender nonconforming identities. Questioning is when someone is “questioning” early on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The I stands for intersex. This is a person with one or more innate sex characteristics, including genitals, internal reproductive organs, and chromosomes, that fall outside of traditional conceptions of male or female bodies. Intersex people are assigned a gender at birth — either male or female — and that decision by medical providers and parents may not match the gender identity of the child.
The A stands for asexual which is a person who does not experience sexual attraction. Sometimes shortened to “ace,” it is an umbrella term that can also include people who are demisexual (some sexual attraction), graysexual (not falling within the most strict definition of asexual) and aromantic, (having little to no romantic attraction/relationships) with others.
The plus is used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that letters and words cannot yet fully describe. The adjective describes a person whose gender is not male or female and uses many different terms to describe themselves.