HackThisSite.org News: Celebrating Pride

by: HackThisSite Staff, 02:06 pm Wednesday June 02nd, 2021

At HackThisSite, we have always tried to be a safe, welcoming place for people from every walk of life. This year we would like you to join us in celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month for the month of June. Pride is a reminder that while a lot of progress has been made over the past few decades, the fight is far from over and your help is needed.

You may wonder why people are flying those rainbow flags every year shouting that they are proud. Why do they feel the need to announce it, and why does there need to be a whole month for it? In the perfect world, this would not be necessary.

On June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, a riot happened. This riot would be the tipping point, starting the path for equality. This was the start of the Stonewall Riots, a violent stand against the police criminalizing LGBTQ+ identities. Pride is a celebration, yes; but it is also a protest against the struggles people face while living in a homophobic society. It’s a celebration of people's identities, in a world that discourages people from doing so. Pride is resistance.

Prior to the Stonewall Riots, being gay or queer was seen as a sickness. Something to be corrected. Sometimes it was even criminalized. This line of thinking unfortunately continued for quite some time, and even has remnants today. In the 1950s, not long before the Stonewall Riots, Robert Galbraith Heath was experimenting on deep brain stimulation in a hope to “cure” homosexuality. This process later become known as Conversion Therapy and has yet to be outlawed in many parts of the world.

At a time when more and more people are finding the courage to come out and be proud of who they truly are, it is disheartening to see that people all over the world are being pushed out against their will and ostracized, and sometimes killed, for being themselves.

This year, there have been over 250 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures across the United States, and this trend is increasing across the world, too. Most of the laws target transgender people, specifically young people in sports. Doctors are finding it a real possibility that providing life-affirming care may be criminalized. These proposed laws are cruel, unnecessary, and blatant discrimination. Unfortunately, some have passed, and in some nations not being straight is a criminal offense, even punishable by death. At such a crucial point in the fight for equality, we cannot let up. In the U.S. alone, more than half the states allow the use of the "Gay Panic" defense. This is unacceptable. Just when the LGBTQ+ community was finally beginning to gain small steps forward in civil rights, those may soon be gone.

The time to fight back is now, more than ever. There are hundreds of LGBTQ+ rights organizations around the world that you can join and find out what you can do to make sure LGBTQ+ persons get the equal and equitable rights they justly deserve. In the U.S., GLAAD is one of many such organizations. The American Psychological Association provides a great guide for finding your Senators and Congresspersons and tips for how to communicate with them. Your help is needed, please act now.

Pride is not just for people to stand up and let their presence be known. Pride is a reminder of what people who are not LGBTQ+ can do to be an ally, to be supportive and provide a safe place. Pride is a reminder that the fight is not over.