WorldPride, organized by InterPride, is an event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other (LGBTQ+) issues on an international scale through parades, festivals, and other celebrations. WorldPride has gone around 5 major cities in the world since its first parade in Rome, Italy, July 2000. After 20 years of spreading pride and joy in Rome, Jerusalem, London, Toronto, and Madrid, WorldPride has finally arrived in New York City the last week of July 2019.
WorldPride NYC 2019 will be held in conjunction with Stonewall 50, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising of June 28, 1969, in which the modern LGBTQ Rights Movement began.
In the 1950s and 60s, police raids on gay bars were routine as they sought to arrest, punish, and oppress the gay community by enforcing an anti-gay legal system. The marginalized, such as gay, transgenders, bisexuals and lesbians were arrested and publicly shamed for having a sexual orientation differ from heterosexuality. For these individuals, simply being themselves was illegal, even in public places such as NYC’s Stonewall Inn. The gay community, however, stood united on June 28, 1969 and decided to no long endure the systemic mistreatment, rioting against the discriminatory police officers that arrived to put them in handcuffs. What erupted from the Stonewall Uprising were protests and rebellion that catapulted the gay community into a liberation front, consisting of national awareness, a New York City newspaper called Gay, Gay Activists Alliance, Gay Pride marches, and gay rights groups in every American city.
Despite the growth the LGBTQ+ community has experienced due to the Stonewall Uprising, the fight for LGBTQ+ rights continues, as the community still remains one of the most marginalized groups in society and there is a constant, looming and governmental threat to having their current rights revoked – rights that are still unequal in comparison to the rest of society.
With the WorldPride parade approaching, it reminds us not only that there has been so much progress, but also that the battle against the deliberate suppression of LGBTQ community is far from over.
“We are welcoming a series of long-overdue firsts in 2019 – the first openly gay album in India, first same-sex marriage law in Asia, the first openly gay state governor in the U.S., moments of courage and hope that serve as optimistic beachheads in a world that continues to devalue the dignity and safety of others. The headwinds have been profound lately, for transgender people in the U.S. military, for LGBTQ students, for same-sex couples who want to buy a wedding cake in some states. One haunting statistic: The rate of violence against transgender women, particularly those of color, continues to rise unabated.”
WorldPride is important because it brings public awareness to the discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community faces every day, despite how far they’ve come to gain equal rights. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 and required all states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriages. This legalization, although a big feat for the community, does not prohibit discrimination. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme court sided with a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple due to his religious beliefs. Although the law has made it clear that religious beliefs trumphs gay rights, it does not change the fact that this type of discrimination, albeit for a lawful reason, can have emotional, mental and even physical effects on gay individuals which WorldPride seeks to expose on a continental level.
Most importantly, WorldPride is significant because it allows a variety of LGBTQ+ with different backgrounds to gather and simply celebrate who they are, what they’ve been through, and what they have achieved – a right they were once not able to exercise in public.
At The Harman Firm, we believe every individual of any sexual orientation, gender or sex deserves equal rights. If you have been discriminated against based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation in the workplace, contact The Harman Firm, LLP.