It is the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising – which sparked a global movement for LGBT rights – and with the gains of marriage equality and gender recognition, it may be hard to see the need for a pride parade anymore. It seems that pride has become an event for companies to wrap themselves with the rainbow flag and pretend for one month that they care about the LGBTQ+ community. Some would think that the days where pride was a protest are gone and now pride is a party for everyone. But homophobia didn’t disappear the day we got marriage equality and although our gender recognition act is based on self-determination for binary trans people, transphobia still exists within Irish society. Pride is needed because we should celebrate our many gains, but we have so much more to fight for.
The theme for Dublin Pride this year is Rainbow Revolution and it is important that the LGBTQ+ community take this theme to heart. We need to reclaim our space and make sure that we bring pride back to its radical roots of protest. We need to use pride as a space to highlight the continuing inequality and oppressions that we are fighting against. Rights are never given and the rights we have won were won through protest. The first pride was a protest and it was through continuous protest that decriminalisation of homosexuality was won. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and many others who profit off our suffering need to know that pride isn’t a place for them to advertise their products but rather a space for LGBTQ+ people to protest and raise awareness about our rights.
The Rainbow Revolution needs to reach our hospital, schools, colleges and work places. Legal rights are a huge step forward for the LGBTQ+ community but it is not enough. We need a revolution within a society, we need to build a better society where homophobia and transphobia are challenged and nobody has to fit into rigid gender norms that oppress us all. The 50th Anniversary of Stonewall should be a rallying cry for the LGBTQ+ community, 50 years ago we stood up and we stood together. Now we again need to stand up and show our solidarity with each other. It is time for pride to return to its roots, it is time for pride to be a protest once again.
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Image courtesy of Sara Rampazzo via Unsplash