In Recognition of Pride Month
The month of June is internationally recognized as Pride Month. Originating as Gay Pride, the name has in recent years been shortened to “Pride” to reflect the inclusion of all diversity.
Pride month is characterized by the promotion of self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirited individuals (LGBTQ2+) in society. For most of our history, this diverse group has suffered oppression, shame, and social stigma. Pride, which is the opposite of shame, is the predominant theme of this month throughout the world.
Pride events are typically held during Pride Month or another period that commemorates a turning point in a nation’s LGBTQ2+ history. For example, Moscow Pride is held in May for the anniversary of Russia’s 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality. In the USA and other countries, the month of June became known for Pride to commemorate the Stonewall riots in June of 1969 in New York City. Some Pride events include parades, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and festivals.
Common symbols of pride are the rainbow or pride flag, the lowercase Greek letter lambda (λ), the pink triangle and the black triangle, these latter two reclaimed from their use as badges of shame in Nazi concentration camps, where LGBTQ2+ people were interred simply by virtue of their orientation.
Those who believe that Pride is not necessary or complain that we “don’t have a straight Pride month” have never had to deal with the stigma of being shamed, arrested, beaten or harmed simply for being or expressing themselves.
The Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, through its Equity and Diversity Committee, is committed to diversity and inclusiveness and increasing awareness among its members and the population generally. This month, we take the opportunity to honour and empower those who identify as part of the LGBTQ2+ community, and to recognize their struggle in society.