Why Pride should be every single day
It’s been 52 years since the Stonewall riots, so 52 years of outspoken and resilient existence and resistance.
Pride is all about being visible and projecting your true self. It is not a one month event, but an everyday struggle with society - and many times your close ones - where one’s existence is often questioned if relevant enough, timely and spatially appropriate or dignified to be visible.
2021 is the second year where most pride events have been cancelled largely due to the pandemic constraints but also because LGBTI+ civil society organizations have had to focus their efforts in core support to the community. The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but has highlighted systemic inequalities and enhanced fragilities of the most vulnerable - including LGBTI+ people and their families.
According to international data collected by ILGA World, 70 countries still criminalize same-sex relationships and in at least 6 countries homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty. This reinforces stereotypes and prejudices around LGBTI+ issues and contributes directly to insults targeting LGBTI+ identities and relationships, enhancing the lack of visibility of LGBTI+ people (for fear of reprisals) and their increased isolation. This is true in these 70+ countries but also true in some of the most advanced and friendly environments. The specificities of social homophobia and transphobia are sadly international and every single society still needs to redeem themselves to ensure safety and de facto equality to LGBTI+ people and their families.
Europe has the most advanced LGBTI+ legal recognition framework and still faces instances of anti-LGBTI+ violence, discrimination and harassment. In fact, in many European countries there’s currently a huge backlash on LGBTI+ issues - for instance, in Poland or Hungary but also the very strong and public anti-trans discourse in the UK or Spain.
Portugal currently ranks 4th in the European Rainbow Map but the latest available data shows that "27% of LGBTI people avoid holding hands in public with a same-sex partner for fear of being assaulted, threatened or harassed".
We have a long road towards equality ahead of us, and that is why Pride should be an everyday celebration (with June a true spotlight month). We should celebrate our diversity, our identities, our relationships and our bodies every single day. And we should stand in solidarity with our LGBTI+ relatives, friends, co-workers, strangers always and in every single context of everyday life.
There’s so much to celebrate and to empower, let us all do our part in fostering it.