All you need to know about LGBTQIA+ - An Elaborated Guide - Pride Month

Before we begin, let us just go down memory lane and just refresh our memories for the meanings of these two words: Pride (noun) -The consciousness of one's own dignity.

Dignity (noun) - The state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.


It is 2021, and the members of LGBTQIA+ community still live as an outcast in many countries, are feared and bullied and not accepted for who they are. It is in the month of June that Pride Month is observed all across the world, to celebrate the members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their right to live a dignified life. Still, very few people are actually aware of it, about its history.


So, at the end of Pride Month, this June, all of us at TPQ decided to do a blog which will make people aware of what Pride Month is. So, here we go! Do stick with us till the end.



WHAT IS LGBTQIA+?

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning, Intersex, Asexual. LGBTQIA+ is an ever-growing and evolving acronym. It is an inclusive term covering people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. It is not just one group but many groups that form this community. So, it is important that we are aware of each part of it.



  • Lesbian – It is a term for women sexually and affectionately oriented toward other women. The term can also be used by non-binary individuals, especially those that are attracted to women or feel connected to womanhood.

  • Gay - Characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one's same-sex; homosexual.

  • Bisexual - Those that are sexually and affectionately attracted both to men and women.

  • Trans - An inclusive term for transgender, non-conforming, and non-binary individuals.

  • Transgender - People whose gender identity is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth.

  • Questioning - When a person is exploring their sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression.

  • Queer - This term can have various definitions but can be seen as an inclusive term or as a unique celebration of not molding to social norms.

  • Intersex - This word can have various meanings; it’s used for individuals that don’t fit into specific gender norms of women or men; it can also be used for those with reproductive anatomy that isn’t typical.

  • Asexual - Used for those that don’t feel sexual attraction to either sex or that don’t feel romantic attraction in a typical way.


The + in the LGBTQIA+ acronym is there to be inclusive to everyone. This works to allow the acronym to cover new subsects of the community like:

  • Ally - A term for individuals that support and rally the cause even though they don’t identify within the community.

  • Pan-sexual/Homosexual - Similar to bisexual, this describes individuals with a desire for all genders and sexes.

  • Androgynous - Describes those with both male and female traits.

  • Genderqueer - A gender term used for those with no, both, or a combination of genders.

  • Two-spirit - Typically used by Native Americans to describe the third gender.

  • Demisexual - Describes someone that requires an emotional bond to form a sexual attraction.

  • Polyamorous - This term for those open to multiple consensual romantic or sexual relationships at one time.

(Source – abbreviations.yourdictionary.com)



What is LGBTQIA+ Pride?

LGBTQIA+ Pride is the promotion of self-affirmation, dignity, increased visibility of the people who are from the LGBTQIA+ community.



What is Pride Month?

Every year in June, the whole world celebrates Pride Month dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community and their rights to a dignified life. People from all across the world come together in celebration of how far LGBTQIA+ rights have come with the motive that there is still so much left to achieve.


It is about spreading awareness and educating those who yet do not know about the LGBTQIA+ community, about their rights, freedom, and history. Pride Month is all about acceptance and celebration of people from this community and their identities and about normalizing love because let’s face it, LOVE IS LOVE.



Why do we celebrate Pride Month?

Every year the Pride Month is celebrated in the month of June, commemorating the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall uprising was a series of demonstrations by the members of the gay community in response to a police raid which began in the early hours of 28th June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn which is a gay bar in the Greenwich, neighborhood of New York City, USA. The members of the Gay and Lesbian community from the village fought back when the police became violent.


Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening and again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents organized into activist groups demanding the right to live openly regarding their sexual orientation, and without fear of being arrested. The new activist organizations concentrated on confrontational tactics, and within months three newspapers were established to promote rights for gay men and lesbians.


These riots are considered a major watershed event in the Gay liberation movement and the twentieth (20th) century fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in the United States of America.

(Source: Wikipedia)



HOW IS PRIDE MONTH CELEBRATED?

Today, the celebrations of Pride Month include Pride parades, picnics, workshops, and concerts. LGBTQIA+ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Local and Federal policies are increasingly acknowledging and focusing on LGBTQIA+ youth. Encouraging greater acceptance and support for all youth, including those who are or are perceived to be LGBTQ, will make communities, schools, and other settings safer, better places for all youth.



FLAGS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LGBTQIA+ PRIDE

Tons of people use the rainbow flag to represent the LGBTQ community, but it's not the only flag that people in the community connect with. Different groups, genders, and identities have come up with their own flags over the years to bring awareness to their unique needs and experiences.


Here are some of the flags that are used worldwide by the different groups of the LGBTQIA+ community:



The Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

In 1978, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California, asked artist Gilbert Baker to create a Pride flag. Gilbert wanted to create "something that was positive, that celebrated our love." "A Rainbow Flag was a conscious choice, natural and necessary," Gilbert said. "The rainbow came from earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope."


The colors have the following meanings:

  • Pink: Sex

  • Red: Life

  • Orange: Healing

  • Yellow: Sunlight

  • Green: Nature

  • Turquoise: Magic

  • Blue: Harmony

  • Violet: Spirit


This flag is used to symbolize the overall LGBTQ community. Many organizations and businesses use this flag as a symbol to show that their establishment is a safe space for everyone in the community. The pink and turquoise from Gilbert's original flag were excluded so it would be easier to mass-produce.


Rainbow Pride Flag

This flag is used to symbolize the overall LGBTQ community. Many organizations and businesses use this flag as a symbol to show that their establishment is a safe space for everyone in the community. The pink and turquoise from Gilbert's original flag were excluded so it would be easier to mass-produce.




Bisexual Flag

This flag was created by activist Michael Page. He wanted to create a symbol for bisexual people to feel connected to. Each of the colors symbolizes some kind of attraction:

  • Pink (or magenta): Same-sex attraction.

  • (Royal) blue: Opposite-sex attraction

  • Purple (lavender): Attraction to both sexes.



Asexual Flag

Asexuality is also a spectrum of attraction where people can fall into a subset called "gray asexuality." People who identify this way call themselves "gray ace." This spectrum includes people who feel sexual attraction infrequently, who only feel sexual attraction under a specific set of circumstances, and more.


According to Medium, the flag was created in 2010 to help create awareness in the community.

  • Black: Represents Asexuality as a whole

  • Gray: Represents grey asexuality and demisexuality.


Demisexuality is defined as no sexual attraction unless there is a strong emotional bond according to AVEN.

  • White: Represents sexuality.

  • Purple: Represents community.



Lesbian Flag

The original lesbian pride flag had a red kiss mark in the top left corner. It was introduced to the world to the world in a blog post back in 2010, according to OutRight Action International. Some people still use that kiss mark to represent feminine or "lipstick" lesbians. It was created by Natalie McCray and the different shades of red and pink are said to represent different shades of lipstick.


In a 2018 Medium article, McCray was accused of transphobia, biphobia, and racism among other things. As a result, a new flag with orange stripes was proposed. In the new flag, the colors represent the following:

  • Darkest Orange: Gender non-conformity

  • Middle Orange: Independence

  • Lightest Orange: Community

  • White: Unique relationships to womanhood

  • Lightest Pink: Serenity and peace

  • Middle Pink: Love and sex

  • Darkest Pink: Femininity



Intersex Flag

This flag was created in 2013 by Morgan Carpenter. Carpenter chose these colors as symbols of the community.

  • Gold or yellow: Inspired by a story told by fellow intersex individual Mani Mitchell to reclaim the slur "hermaphrodite" used against the intersex community.

  • Purple Circle: In the interview, Carpenter said, "The circle is about us being unbroken, about being whole and complete," as well as the right for Intersex people to make decisions about their bodies.


Transgender Flag



The Transgender flag was created by American Trans Woman, Monica Helms in 1999.

  • Blue: Represents boys

  • Pink: Represents girls

  • White: Represents people who are transitioning, have no gender, or are gender-neutral



Gender Fluid Flag

The flag was created by JJ Poole in 2012.

  • Pink: Represents femininity

  • White: Represents all genders

  • Purple: Represents both masculinity and femineity

  • Black: Represents a lack of gender

  • Blue: Represents masculinity



Straight Ally Flag

The combination of the black and white stripes and the rainbow represent the allies' support of the LGBTQ+ community.









Bear Pride Flag

The International Bear Brotherhood Flag was designed to represent the bear subculture within the LGBT community. The flag was designed with inclusion in mind. The gay bear culture celebrates secondary sex characteristics such as the growth of body hair and facial hair, which is typically considered a "bear" trait.


These are some of the common flags associated with the LGBTQIA+ Pride that one would see if they take part in the LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade. Howsoever, this is not the end of the list, there are many more other pride flags that are not mentioned here, so please don’t be surprised if you see other Pride flags at the parades.

(Source – Wikipedia and Seventeen.com)



GLOBAL PRIDE DAY 2021

Just like every year, Global Pride Day will be celebrated on June 28. There are usually colorful parades, concerts, and marches across the world. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic is still hovering around, many will celebrate it online.



WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BECOME A STRAIGHT ALLY?

From 1969, or maybe even long before then, people have been fighting and protesting against the system to give the community rights to marry, to adopt children, to start a family, to fight discrimination. It has been a really long fight, which still continues to go on. It is our duty as citizens to normalize the Love and choices of every single human being in this world and not to judge them on that basis.


It is really important that we educate ourselves, people around us, and our children to be more accepting of others and their choices. We need to normalize the normal as there is nothing unusual about not being heterosexual. We worship Gods who were not heterosexual, Ardhnarishwar, Vishnu/Mohini, Shikhandi, Xochipilli, the Aztec God of homosexuality, Saint Sebastian, and the list could go on and on.


If one can gracefully worship Gods who were not heterosexual, it makes sense to not give the reason “this is not in our culture, homosexuality is not a part of our religious beliefs.” It is high time that we start to shed the homophobic mindset and become more accepting. To spread the change, it is important that people first themselves become the change they want to see in others, because as Captain Raymond Holt said, the world becomes a better place every time someone steps up and say who they are, and we should strive to be better for the sake of the next generation. It is important that we stop the homophobic mindset to take roots in more new minds, it is important that one becomes an ally of the community.


Becoming a Straight ally is one way to show their acceptance and solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, that they stand with the community and support their rights.


Written and Compiled by

Soumya Shrivastava

The Project Quote