By Elaine Voci, Phd. Certified Life-cycle Celebrant®, Life Coach and Author
At the very root, “Gay Pride” is a worldwide political stand for everyone to nobly support our lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender (LGBTQIA+) sisters, brothers and others against violence, inequality and discrimination. Pride is expressed in many celebrations and commemorative events in all parts of the world with parades, music festivals, rainbow lighting of public buildings and parks, and speeches made by prominent LGBTQ fans and leaders. This special month welcomes everyone to be a part of this special important celebration from freedom and justice for all.
A little bit of history: June is the official month in which to remember the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in New York City that took place following a brutal police raid on June 28, 1969. The LGBTQ+ NYC community stood together against the forces of violence and oppression, little did they know they created one of the biggest human rights movements in history that continues to go strong. The iconic Stonewall bar where this revolution began was granted landmark status in 2015, the first time a New York City site was designated primarily for its significance to the LGBTQ community as a symbol of fighting against repression. And this year, after 48 years of marches, protests, boycotts and rainbow balls, the NYC Gay Pride parade and related activities will be televised for the first time. Take a look in your town for events taking place and join the festivities.
Many Pride community events are held to recognize the impact that LGBTQ people have on the world and Pride is associated with rainbow colors meant to recognize and celebrate the diversity of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer people. The use of the rainbow colors for flags, clothing, signs and posters has become ubiquitous. For example, in June this year, the US Soccer men’s and women’s teams will wear rainbow numbered jerseys in honor of Gay Pride Month when they compete.
June is also, traditionally, a month for weddings, and in Canada, the US and many other countries where the courts have recognized marriage equality, there will be millions of LGBTQ marriage ceremonies performed – and many by certified Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrants.
LGBTQ+ weddings are extra special. Love is always a part of marriage ceremonies, and with LGBTQIA weddings it’s even more so. The couple’s uniting in marriage goes deeper and extends beyond them, it touches the lives of their community who are witnesses to their newly legalized marriage. Their community of beloved friends and family recognize the pain and suffering LGBTQ couples have had to endure to finally achieve their goal: marriage equality! It’s everyone’s unique opportunity to support LGBTQ couples so they can experience a prideful and happy married life together.
Having a world where diversity is respected and honored is a driving priority. This lovely lyric by the Beatles rings true now and into the future: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”