It is that time of the year when social media is flooded with brands announcing their support for the LGBTQIA+ community in honor of Pride Month!
Most companies have added a rainbow flag to their logos in an effort to rebrand their social media profiles as a tribute to the pride flag.
While this overwhelming support is great, there is a need to ask these questions. Which of these companies are actually making a real-life difference in the LGBTQIA+ community? How many of these companies are involved with the issues in the LGBTQIA+ community all year round? And, how many of these companies are looking to leverage pride month as a means of boosting their profits using pride month as an excuse?
With this month’s edition of TOSOS (that’s how we refer to The Other Side of SaaS at Slintel!), we have decided to take a detour to talk a little more about how it all started.
History of the Pride March
The 1950-60s were turbulent times for the LGBTQ community in the United States. They faced anti-LGBT legal systems and same-sex relations were considered illegal in New York.
Back in those days, most liquor establishments were owned by the Mafia who saw a business opportunity in opening up their doors to these clientele.
In 1966, Stonewall Inn (a “straight” bar and restaurant) was renovated to cater to the LGBTQ community. It was registered as a BYOB pub which did not require an alcohol license and encouraged their clientele to bring their own alcohol.
The Genovese crime family that owned many such clubs, were also known to have bribed the NYPD to tip them off when potential “raids” were to occur, giving the employees and the clientele time to stash the alcohol (if sold without a license) and make the place appear as if no “illegal” activities were conducted there.
Stonewall Inn was large and relatively cheap to enter and soon became a nightly haven for the LGBTQ community, many runaways and homeless LGBTQ youth, including drag queens who received bitter treatment everywhere else.
The police raided the establishment armed with a warrant and without prior “tip-off” on June 28, 1969. They roughed up both the employees and the patrons and upon finding unlicensed alcohol, arrested 13 people, including employees and people violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute (female officers would take suspected cross-dressing patrons into the bathroom to check their sex).
This unwarranted raid sparked a riot among the patrons and the residents of Greenwich Village which led to six days of protests and violent confrontations with the NYPD outside the Stonewall Inn.
The incident at Stonewall Inn soon became an invigorating force that led to the birth of numerous LGBT rights organizations. A year after the uprising, to mark the anniversary on June 28, 1970, the first pride march took place in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. More marches were organized in other cities as well.
In 2016, the then-President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and its surrounding areas as a national monument in recognition of the area’s contributions to LGBTQ rights. In 2019, the New York Police Commissioner issued an apology on behalf of the NYPD officers and their actions at Stonewall Inn in 1969.
Hence, to commemorate the Stonewall uprising, the pride march takes place at the end of June in the United States.
So there you have it – the history of pride parades and why it is celebrated. Therefore, it is wise to remember that when celebrating pride month and rebranding your company and products should not be taken lightly.
In India, Pride celebrations take place in November and December in more than 21 Indian cities, where thousands of LGBTQ+ Indians come together to celebrate. The first pride parade in India was the Kolkata Rainbow Pride March and was held in 1998.
Only in 2018 did the Indian Supreme Court decriminalize homosexual relations. While the right to marry for same-sex couples has not yet been leagalized throughout the country, the Haryana court and Madras court has recognized same-sex marriages in the past.
So in order to celebrate Pride Month, we have decided to feature a few (from so many) lovely voices who are doing their best to raise awareness, and being authentically themselves.
Let’s take a look at them.
Voices of Pride
#1 Ankit Bhuptani on What Pride Actually Is
Pride is not just a colorful celebration of sexual diversity which involves rainbows and parades, but rather the feeling of acceptance and love in your own skin, surviving hard shit, and more.
Ankit Bhuptani is a LGBT rights activist who shares his view on what pride actually is. Let us know if you agree with this.
#2 Surovi Dey Dhupar on Do More to Understand
To be an ally is not just about changing your profile to reflect the rainbow colors and calling it a day. It is more than that.
Make it a mission to learn more about what Pride is and why it is celebrated, how you can be a better ally. A good place to start is with Surovi Dey Dhupar’s post. Take a look at it and spend some time assimilating it.
#3 Durga Gawde on Don’t Carry the Shame of Others
While this is not limited to only the LGBTQIA+ community, as humans we have a tendency to do this whether we know it or not.
Well, Durga Gawde has the right affirmation for all of you that struggle with this. Their prescription for all of us who struggle with this is to repeat this affirmation as many times as needed until we start to believe in it.
#4 Rishi Raj on What Is Queerness to Me?
While each of us can have our own definition of what queerness is to us, we always have to remember not to conform to someone else’s validations, rules and guidelines.
Take time to ask yourself questions and identify what queerness is for you before you tell the world. As Rishi Raj puts it – “You are your very own sacred space”. Don’t let anyone violate your existence.
Read his complete post to understand what queerness is for him.
#5 Jovit Moya On Stop Fading Our Colors
Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Never shy away from showing your own colors to the world. We are all uniquely special and deserve to be appreciated just as specially.
#6 Mad Over Marketing on Sparkle Your Google Sheets with Pride Colors
If there was a simple way to show support and solidarity during Pride month, then Google Sheets is doing it right.
Type each letter of the word “PRIDE” in each column, press enter and then see the magic happen.
#7 Pride Flag Gets a Redesign to Include Intersex Folks
Let’s dive into the rich history of the pride flag for a minute. The OG rainbow pride flag was first designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker as a symbol of hope for the LGBTQ+ community and advocated for the evolution of the flag.
Now over the years, the flag has undergone multiple design changes to include new identities that have since emerged.
Amber Hikes, included a black and brown stripe in the Pride flag to provide representation for Black and brown folks. In 2019, Daniel Quasar added the stripes of the transgender flag in his representation of the Pride flag.
Now Valentino Vecchietti has reimagined the Pride flag to specifically include intersex folks. Well, we are all for equal representation for everyone.
#8 Postman’s Invitation for the API Community to Support LGBTQ+ Communities via APIs
Postman, a collaboration platform for developing APIs has created a LGBTQ+ workspace. This public workspace is a resource for LGBTQ+ people and allies to find safe restrooms and work opportunities, and to understand laws about sexuality and gender.
The “LGBTQ+ Safe Space Assist” collection coordinates safe locations, such as bathrooms, for LGBTQ+ people. It can be incredibly dangerous for LGBTQ+ individuals to travel, so this Slack bot is intended to help individuals minimize risk.
The “Open States Legislation” collection looks at legislation relevant to LGBTQ+ issues in the United States. It can be used to find and understand laws in each state or city, including which laws are being voted upon and how.
#9 Thought Works On Debunking Myths about the LGBTQ+ Community
Claiming to be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community is going beyond the hashtags and pride colors and putting in time and effort to learn, understand, empathize and to become empowered enough to stand up to situations where discrimination against the community occurs.
Thought Works has put together a blog, which puts forward some of scenarios you could face and how you can be an actual ally to the LGBTQIA+ folks.
Take a few minutes to educate yourself and become aware of how you can help if you find yourself in a similar situation.
#10 Jenn Renoe On How Pronouns Are Not Preferred but Just Are
While platforms like LinkedIn have made it possible to include your pronouns, there is still a lot left to do when it comes to understanding a person and their pronouns.
As Jenn Reneo so aptly puts it – “Forget the word preferred from your lexicon. Our pronouns aren’t preferred. Our pronouns are. Asking what someone’s preferred pronouns is a form of microaggression. It means – I’ll recognize the pronouns you want me to use but 😉😉 we can both agree those aren’t REALLY your pronouns right?”
Read the article referenced with the LinkedIn post to understand gender identity terms.
While this post encourages one to live authentically, always remember coming out to the world has to always be on your own terms. No one should dictate when and how you need to come out to the world.
Take your time and there will come a day when you can show the world all your beauty out loud and proud. 😊
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy Pride Month Everyone!