June 10, 2024

Pride Month: A Party With a Purpose

CHANNEL Q Program Director Brian Holt Discusses the importance of Pride month for the LGBTQ+ Community and Allies

I’ve often heard and read: why do these people need a parade, let alone an entire month to celebrate? So I thought it might be good to remind all of us that Pride season isn’t just a party – it’s a party with a purpose

Pride month and its many celebrations are so much more than partying and having fun; they serve as crucial platforms for visibility, solidarity, and advocacy. They provide a space for queer folk to not only express their identities openly, but by doing so, help to create a sense of community, allowing us to connect with those who share similar experiences and struggles. It also counters the historical and ongoing marginalization we face. By celebrating our existence, we challenge societal norms that have long sought to make us invisible — or worse, portray us as deviant and evil.

It’s unacceptable that in 2023, the Trevor Project found that 41% of U.S. LGBTQ+ teens seriously considered suicide, with at least one attempting it every 45 seconds.

Every 45 seconds… sit with that for a moment. Even queer adults commit suicide at rates more than double our straight friends.  And let’s be clear, LGBTQIA people are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather, we are placed at higher risk because of how we are mistreated and stigmatized by society.

Pride events are not just parties — at CHANNEL Q we like to say they are a party with a purpose. They both honor the sacrifices of past activists and highlight the progress that has been made, while also drawing attention to the many challenges that remain, including increased violence and legislative attacks on our community. For context: last year there was a 47% increase in violence against the queer community; a record 510 anti-lgbtq bills were introduced; and earlier this month the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security issued a first-ever worldwide terror alert for Pride events and celebrations.

Pride celebrations are not just about parties and parades. They serve an important purpose as powerful reminders of the work that still needs to be done, aiming to galvanize support within our community and amongst our allies to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable world, demonstrating that Pride is as much about the ongoing struggle for justice as it is about celebrating identity and working to eliminate our erasure. 

So if someone asks you why do these people need a parade? Do all of us an important favor and remind them – it’s not just a party – it’s a party with a purpose and everyone is invited! 

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