June and July are all about the rainbow. The LGBTQIA+ community proudly and confidently celebrates its rights and visibility in society. But there is more to the countless colorful and exuberant parades than just rainbow fun. Homophobia and transphobia continue to be as pervasive as ever – even in Germany. We want to celebrate diversity and all the colors of life with you. Because life is colorful – just like you.
What does Pride Month celebrate?
Pride Month is an annual month of commemoration that is celebrated in June and honors the LGBTQ+ community and its struggle for equality and acceptance. The month was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots in June 1969, when LGBTQ+ activists demonstrated in New York City against police violence and discrimination. During Pride Month there are parades, demonstrations, and events in many cities and countries to celebrate the diversity and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community and at the same time call attention to the ongoing challenges and fights. Pride Month is an important time to show solidarity and support the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+: A brief overview of sexual orientation
Maybe you’ve seen the rainbow flag before and wondered what it means. Nowadays there are several words to describe sexual orientation, whether homosexual, asexual or pansexual. But a lot of people don’t know what LGBTQIA+ stands for. If we translate each of the letters, they mean:
- L – lesbian: women who are attracted to other women.
- G – gay: men who are attracted to other men.
- B – bisexual: people who are attracted to people of different genders.
- T – transgender/transsexual: people whose gender identity does not match their gender assigned at birth.
- Q – queer/questioning: refers to anyone whose sexual orientation and gender identity does not fit within the current categories of the two-gender order.
- I – intersex: people whose biological characteristics, which are typically considered to be either male or female, are ambiguous.
- A – asexual: asexual people who feel little or no sexual desire and allies who champion the rights and demands of the LGBTQ+ community.
- +: the plus sign refers to all the other sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions which can’t be explained by letters and words.
What is the LGBTQ+ community?
The LGBTQ+ community represents a colorful and diverse group of people, that deviate from the heteronormative norm in terms of the sexual orientation or gender identity. In the last few years huge progress has been made, and LGBTQ+ people have become more visible and more accepted. But we still need to promote awareness and resist discrimination. In many Arabic countries homosexuals are stigmatized, even in China, life for same-sex couples has become harder. In comparison, there are super-liberal cities where more than a third of children in nursery have same-sex parents.
Where does Christopher Street Day come from?
Christopher Street Day is a prominent event in the LGBTQ+ community that is celebrated every year in many cities around the world. These festivals are not only multicolored parades and festivities – they also have a deep historical importance. The name “CSD” comes from Christopher Street in New York City, where in 1969 queer people fought against police repression in the Stonewall riots. Yet it was still another ten years before gay men and lesbians in Germany felt they could confidently walk down the street. Today, Christopher Street Day (CSD) is a huge colorful party. CSD events take place in many cities worldwide and each has its own character. São Paulo in Brazil is known for the largest and most impressive parade, with millions of people taking part. In Europe, Madrid is the biggest CSD event, drawing thousands of people every year. The CSD in Cologne, also known as Cologne Pride, is the biggest parade in Germany.
What do the colors on the flag mean?
Particularly on Christopher Street Day, a day of celebration and demonstration for the LGBTQ+ community, the rainbow flag is a symbol of diversity, pride and self-affirmation. Even heterosexuals fly the rainbow flag to show their acceptance.
Each of the six colors has its own, unique meaning for the LGBTQ+ community:
- Red: stands for life
- Orange: for healing
- Yellow: for sunlight
- Green: for nature
- Blue: for serenity
- Purple: for spirit or soul
Did you know that originally there was also a pink stripe (sexuality)? Unfortunately, it couldn’t be industrially manufactured in the seventies and disappeared when the flags were mass produced for the first time.
As well as the traditional rainbow flag, there are also different variants with their own color combinations and meanings that represent specific LGBTQ+ identities and messages.
What is “queer”?
In the LGBTQ+ community, the word “queer” is used as an umbrella term for sexual orientations and gender identities that do not fit in with the heteronormative norm. Originally it was used as a pejorative and discriminatory word, but has since been adopted by many people in the LGBTQ+ community as a self-description to express an alternative identity beyond the traditional categories of gender and sexuality.
Good to know: The queer community champions the visibility of diverse gender identities and sexualities, among other things. It tries to fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Are homosexual couples allowed to get married?
In recent years there’s been huge progress, as some countries have opened up marriage to all couples, whatever their sexual orientation. This means that homosexual couples have the same rights and duties as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage. However, we need to remember that the actual laws and regulations can differ from country to country. Still, legal recognition is a significant step in the direction of equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community.
It is crucial that we continue to champion the acceptance and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people. We can all make a difference by educating ourselves, questioning prejudices and actively contributing to creating a tolerant and respectful society. The LGBTQ+ community deserves to be free and authentic in all areas of life, without fear of discrimination or marginalization. By championing equality and showing our support, together we can create a world where diversity is celebrated and every person is given the chance to reveal their full potential.
We hope that this blog post has helped strengthen awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and offer valuable insights and perspectives. Let’s be proud of ourselves and our community. Let’s keep fighting for equality and acceptance, and create a world where everyone whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity can live freely and authentically. Together we can bring about change and make a future where LGBTQ+ people can fully express themselves. So, please be proud of who you are, and stand by who you love and what you do, because life and love are colorful – just like you. And that’s the way it should be!
Image sources: pexels-following-nyc-8460785, pexels-anna-shvets-4557646