Gay Pride has been a centre statement in Western societies for almost forty decades, with vibrant banners and rainbow flags, they enlighten our cities for the day. However, Gay Pride is not just a day in the sun for many of us. The rallies celebrate and support the openness of peoples’ expression of their identity, gender and sexuality. They also increase awareness for what is essentially a human right. Gay Pride is now not only an event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community but also for other communities too. The LGBT community have embraced others to feel free and explore who they are in a non-judgmental environment, making the community more inclusive and diverse.
Over the past decade, there has been tremendous success with equality laws created, same-sex marriage licenses granted, and recently new genders emerging to express one’s identity, hence the newer term LGBTQ+. The expression of one’s self can come in many different forms, this may even change over the course of one’s lifetime, much like changes in one’s self-expression – time and culture can change too, and thus society must adapt.
Most recently, India, a country expansive in land, culture and diversity, have just made a constitutional change for their LGBT community by decriminalizing acts between same sex couples. Whilst this is a relatively new change and comes quickly after the Western Society acknowledged the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, it is still an achievement in the recognition of rights of individuals who may feel as though they are outnumbered in the world.
Well-known and respected individuals such as Tim Cook (Apple CEO), Peter Thiel (PayPal Co-Founder) and Jennifer Pritzker (Hyatt Hotel beneficiary), are just some of the well-known names who have pledged their allegiances toward the LGBTQ+ movement. Publicly speaking about their experiences as being gay and transgender, they all noted they felt obliged to hide their private lives from their social and public personas as their success grew. They also noted they felt if they had come out earlier, their careers would not be as well established as they are now. This highlights the indubitable existence of stigmatism even in the awakening of today’s society.
Whilst it is understandable some individuals may value this as wrong, it is also noteworthy that both people and society can change. Being LGBTQ+ does not define you as a person but rather an expression of your being. Ultimately, irrespective of one’s race, sexuality, gender or status, we all may feel subjected to societal norms and unrealistic expectations of how we should feel and think about ourselves. This is as society casts a strong message about what is expected of us in our everyday life. In reality, we should be expected to just be ourselves in any which way that may be, highlighting the necessity to continue championing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. It is evermore vital in today’s society as it is a necessity to break down the stigmatism of which still exists.