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6 Myths About Pride Month History



            Yesterday was a fun day to people watch and talk with others in our lgbtq community and straight ally's as I spent the day behind the Left of Str8 Podcasts table at Stark County Pride in Canton, Ohio. As we have talked about before, Pride Month has a rich history rooted in activism and the fight for equality and also celebration of some historic rights. However, several myths and misconceptions persist. Here are six myths I never believe about Pride Month history.


1. Myth: Pride Started with Parades

Many believe that Pride Month began with celebratory parades. In reality, Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a series of protests against police raids on LGBTQ+ spaces. The parades we see today evolved from these acts of resistance and are deeply rooted in activism. I have learned a lot during my 8 years of podcasting and one of the more interesting facts, was learning about the Black Cat riots in Los Angeles. Although the stories are similar about police raids and our lgbtq community standing up and not taking it anymore, the Black Cat riots actually proceeded Stonewall, but it took Stonewall to really become a national clarion call.


2. Myth: Pride Is Only for Celebrations

While Pride is a time for celebration, it is also a time for reflection and activism. The origins of Pride Month lie in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights, and it remains a platform for advocating for equality and justice. I always remember that Pride is both a celebration and a call to action. There were so many t-shirts at Pride in Canton yesterday, and it was so nice to see a lot of them had calls to action and advocacy depicted. I have watched the pendulum swing back from starting my first podcast just a few days after marriage equality was the law of the land from the Supreme Court, to now being talked about repealing this from that very same Court by Justice Thomas. We need to be ever vigilant and keep fighting the good fight for our rights.


3. Myth: Pride Is Only for the LGBTQ+ Community

Pride Month is often perceived as exclusively for the LGBTQ+ community. However, allies play a crucial role in supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. Pride is a time for everyone to come together in solidarity and support. I was so happy to see about 20% in my estimation, of all the straight ally's that came out to Canton Pride yesterday. Many proudly wearing rainbow colors and ally sayings, many bringing their children with them. It actually helps me keep it in perspective, that although there is a vocal community trying to roll back our rights, shame our drag queens and trans community, and make hateful comments, this vocal community is actually quite smaller than those that have come to realize that they can embrace our lgbtq community. I am thankful for our many ally's.


4. Myth: Pride Month Is the Same Everywhere

Pride celebrations vary widely across different cultures and countries. The way Pride is observed can differ significantly, reflecting the unique history and current challenges faced by LGBTQ+ communities in different regions. I never assume that Pride is celebrated in the same way everywhere. Last year, a small, deeply rural and conservative leaning area of Ohio near me, had their first Pride celebration. Sadly there were about 15-20 protesters loudly shouting slurs and being a nuisance as people walked over to the Pride location. It made Pride take on a very different meaning than the Pride we celebrated in the bigger cities nearby just a few short weeks ago.


5. Myth: Pride History Is Only About Stonewall

While the Stonewall Riots are a significant part of Pride history, they are not the only events that shaped the movement. Earlier protests, such as the Compton's Cafeteria Riot in 1966, also played a critical role in LGBTQ+ activism. Recognizing the broader history helps me appreciate the diverse roots of Pride. This, like the Black Cat riots I talked about earlier, is something we rarely hear about and I hope each community as they plan their Pride month, takes into account their local and regional efforts in making their lgbtq community a more open and welcoming place. There are hero's in every community that have made the area just a little bit safer for those who came after them. Celebrate those local hero's.


6. Myth: Pride Is No Longer Necessary

Some believe that Pride Month is no longer needed because of the progress made in LGBTQ+ rights. However, ongoing discrimination and inequality mean that Pride remains as relevant as ever. Pride Month continues to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals worldwide. There are still many countries where being gay is illegal and downright dangerous. There are still some old laws on the books in communities around the US that are not always enforced, but are more frequently being brought up as ways to silence our community. I read a great meme the other day about the old adage, "Why is there no Straight Prides?" Well, as the meme said, we would be more than happy to help you plan that as soon as you show me where being straight is persecuted and discriminated against. Pride will be and should be celebrated every year to remember where we were, where we are going and what still needs to be done.


Conclusion

Understanding the true history of Pride Month is essential for meaningful participation. By debunking these myths, I ensure that I honor the legacy and ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights. Pride is a powerful reminder of the progress made and the work that still needs to be done.

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