Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. It was a historic win for the Gay Liberation Movement that spread from Manhattan, across the United States of America. Now, millions of participants from all over the world come to commemorate the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had throughout the years, as well as the world. 

Queer Folk throughout the Years

Throughout history, “coming out the closet” was often met with violent backlash and criticism. Early records from nearly every country have accounts describing homosexual and same-sex relations along with people who condemned and punished for it.

Here are a few very familiar names you didn’t know were queer:

  •  Leonardo da Vinci
  • Alexander the Great
  • Julius Caeser
  • Michelangelo
  •  Oscar Wilde
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Virginia Woolf
  • King Edward II of England
  • Greta Garbo
Courtesy of The Advocate

Oppression of the Minorities

You must be wondering, if there were so many famous people who weren’t straight, then how did gay people get oppressed? During the Medieval ages, the rise of the Church and other religious beliefs oversaw radical changes regarding sexuality and led to oppression. Similar ideas spread across the world and homosexuality became a criminal offence. As a result, countless people have been persecuted, jailed, stoned, castrated, burned and murdered for their “sodomy”. After the 19th century, queer people gradually fought for their rights, and gay sex in certain parts of the globe decriminalized. Poetry and other arts greatly shifted negative views of gay love in those times.

A long way to go

Courtesy of The New York Times
Courtesy of The Star Online

It’s been over a century and we still need Pride Month because a large majority of the LGBTQ+ community still doesn’t feel safe despite many legislatures and changes. While so much support from the internet pours in whenever a country legalizes same-sex marriage, there are many threats and assaults on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals. There are lynchings and protests and widespread hate that endangers the human rights of these people that must be eliminated. So until everyone is free to identify and love themselves and whoever they want, we still need Pride Month. We must ensure that no one is attacked or discriminated based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. Love win always conquer hate. So let us be on the right side of history and protect the rights of our fellow citizens. Let us choose love over hate.

Cover Image Source: Visit Philadelphia