What is Pride

Pride doesn’t mean considering yourself superior to others. It means not looking down, not feeling ashamed for who you are. It means keeping our head up in the face of adversity.

Pride is an event meant to honor those who fought for our rights and those who still do, those who suffer or even die because of discrimination. It’s an event meant to remind the world that discrimination still exists and that we need to fight against it. It’s not an excuse to victimize ourselves. It’s a time to cry for the martyrs.

Pride is a celebration of queer culture, a socio-cultural movement that was born in American LGBT communities. Such festivities are no less legitimate than a festival about poutine or rock’n’roll, though they might not resonate with all LGBT people. There are black Americans who don’t relate at all to mainstream Afro-American culture, and yet there are black cultural festivals who label themselves as such. The cultural movement has the name of its makers.

Pride is also a celebration of sexual, romantic and gender freedom for all. It’s not some perverted movement designed to corrupt the mind of your children - nobody wants to talk about sex in front of children. We just think everyone should be raised in a world where being who you want to be and liking the people you like is not an issue, and where what consenting adults do in their bedroom is nobody else’s business.

Pride is also an excuse for minorities and victims of discrimination to gather and support each other. To remind ourselves that were are legitimate, that were are not alone. To give ourselves the strength to face the hate we will receive for the rest of our lives just because we are different. To stay confident in front of those who claim we are just looking for attention. What we want isn’t special treatment. What we seek is not to be loved by everyone, but merely the respect everyone deserves.

I don’t engage much in online debates, and yet I receive over twenty death threats a year because of who I am. I also hear insults or negative comments about queer people every week—at university, at work, walking down the street, on the radio. I am certain that Pride parades and other LGBT events have saved my life, because I wouldn’t have found the strength to face oppression alone, despite being safe and feeling loved.

Because deep down, I just want to be understood.

This article uses the short acronym LGBT for readability purposes. I personally prefer using queer as a vague and inclusive umbrella term, but I know it is still used as a slur in some places, and I don’t want to take part in a debate to which I have not found a satisfying compromise.