Pride: Bridging the gap between protest and celebration

Scott Coleman-Allan

~ 2min read

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~ 2min read

Pride has deep roots in both protest and celebration, representing the evolution of the LGBTQ+ movement over the years. It is a complex and multifaceted event that encompasses both the fight for equality and the celebration of identity and community.

Rather than viewing it as an either-or proposition, it is essential to recognize that Pride seamlessly combines elements of protest and celebration, reflecting the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights while honoring the progress made.

> What is Pride?

Historically, Pride emerged as a protest against discrimination, harassment, and social injustice faced by the LGBTQ+ community. The first Pride events were born out of acts of resistance, such as the Stonewall Riots in 1969, where LGBTQ+ individuals stood up against police violence and oppression. These protests sparked a movement, highlighting the need for visibility, acceptance, and equal rights.

Even today, Pride continues to serve as a platform for raising awareness, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and challenging societal norms. Pride parades and marches often feature signs, banners, and chants that address current issues, including legal equality, transgender rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, and more.

These protests aim to shed light on ongoing challenges and remind the world that the fight for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over. However, Pride is also a celebration—a time when the LGBTQ+ community and its allies come together to embrace their identities, express love, and acceptance, and commemorate the achievements made in the struggle for equality. It is a joyous and vibrant display of LGBTQ+ culture, history, and resilience.

> What happens at a Pride celebration?

Pride celebrations feature colorful costumes, music, dancing, and festivities that create an atmosphere of pride, unity, and acceptance. The celebration aspect of Pride is crucial as it provides a space for LGBTQ+ individuals to feel seen, validated, and supported.

It fosters a sense of belonging and community, especially for those who may face isolation or discrimination in other aspects of their lives. Pride events allow people to connect, share stories, and find solace in the company of others who understand and embrace their authentic selves.

The duality of protest and celebration within Pride reflects the complexity of the LGBTQ+ experience. It acknowledges the progress made in the fight for equality while recognizing that there is still work to be done. It serves as a reminder that Pride is not just a one-day event, but a year-round commitment to advocacy, inclusivity, and social change.

By combining the elements of protest and celebration, Pride effectively communicates a powerful message. It says, "We are here, we are proud, and we demand equality." It celebrates the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community while reminding society of the ongoing fight for justice and acceptance.

> So, is it a protest or celebration?

The question of whether Pride is a protest or celebration is not an either-or proposition. It is both. Pride is a unique and dynamic event that weaves together the legacy of protest with the joy of celebration, providing a platform for visibility, advocacy, and unity. It bridges the gap between the past and the present, inspiring hope for a more inclusive and equitable future.

> Scott Coleman-Allan

Scott is the Director of Global DE&I, Talent & Strategy at mthree. For the past 12 years, Scott’s specialisation has centered on refining talent acquisition methods and driving impactful DE&I initiatives across various organisations across the globe.


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