Why Pride Still Matters

by Jasmine Nash

Picture this: your typical Friday evening out with your loved one at a standard fancy restaurant, the lights are dimly lit inside and you're enjoying a few generous sips of the house red while glaring over the menu but more importantly you’re admiring your partner and holding their hand to close the space between you and them. You're ready to order and the waiter approaches your table.

This all seems pretty normal right?

Now the waiter's looking at your entwined hands and becoming distressed and distracted when you're telling him what you want to eat. He then turns away with no explanation and, soon after, a different waiter is taking your order. You're probably asking yourself why would he not be able to serve two people holding hands; it's normal and it's date night.

Now read that scenario again and imagine it is a same sex couple, does it make more sense to you? Although this scenario is rare and wouldn't happen as often as it used to in the UK and other big cities, this form of homophobia is still happening all around us.

Since 1969's Stonewall Riots in New York, the LGBT community have come an extremely long way. For example, the supreme court legalising same sex marriage in all 50 states in the US in June 2015. The question, 'Why do we need Pride, if homophobia is basically over?' has been on my mind and I came to a conclusion about why Pride still matters. The definition of Pride is: ‘a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of one's close associates, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired’ - and so since 1969 the LGBT community have been working for their own human rights, 50 years later and have come so far.

Why isn't there a straight pride? Because straight people have privileges that LGBT don't: they are able to walk down the street hand in hand with their partner everyday and any day they want without being verbally assaulted or even physically, they can go to the cinema and watch a film with a straight couple portraying romance as the main role without controversy and in a positive light, they never have to 'come out' to their families for being straight, they have the right to marry their partner in any state union and country they want, they are able to talk about their partner without being accused of shoving their sexuality in someone’s face. That’s just a few straight privileges but we don't need straight pride because everyday, on every TV show, on every street, there's a straight pride parade called life.

The biggest cause of death among LGBT teens is suicide from feeling lonely and as though they aren't accepted.LGBT teens are two to six times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual teens. This may seem generic but Imagine your favourite sports team just won a match and you and your friends are celebrating because you support that team and you feel as if you are part of that community, pride is the same. It's a group of people (friends) that you can identify yourself with and feel completely comfortable with, you don't have to explain yourself to anyone, and you can openly and happily walk down the street in June on pride month that one time a year and hold your partner's hand freely because you've won and everyday you win a little bit more with the progression of laws such as the Don’t Tell Repeal Act 2010 which allowed lesbians and gays to serve openly in the military and the wide spread media becoming more LGBT friendly. This is why Pride still needs to happen because the LGBT community need to celebrate how far we have come and the uniqueness among us. Pride is about celebrating human rights and the right to love whomever we what.