Pride, it’s more than a celebration! It’s survival!

Aaron Matthew Laxton, LCSW
4 min readJun 6, 2023

Pride celebrations are an essential part of LGBTQ+ culture and have taken place annually in the United States for over 50 years. These celebrations are now held worldwide and are a symbol of acceptance, equality, and freedom for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Pride events have become an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community to come together, celebrate, and advocate for their rights. However, the importance of Pride celebrations goes beyond just the celebration of identity and culture. The celebrations also serve as a way to promote HIV awareness and prevention.

The History of Pride

Pride events have their roots in the Stonewall riots that occurred in New York City in June 1969. At the time, it was common for the police to raid gay bars and arrest individuals for their sexual orientation. However, on the night of June 28, 1969, patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, fought back against a police raid, leading to a series of riots that lasted for several days. These riots marked the beginning of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement and set the stage for the first Gay Pride parade, which took place in New York City on June 28, 1970, to commemorate the riots.

Since then, Pride events have grown in size and scope and are now celebrated worldwide. In the United States, Pride Month is celebrated in June, and events include parades, parties, and festivals that celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and promote equality and acceptance.

The Importance of Celebrating Pride

Pride events are essential for several reasons. For one, they serve as a way for the LGBTQ+ community to come together and celebrate their identity and culture. Pride events provide a safe space for individuals to express themselves and celebrate their sexual orientation and gender identity without fear of discrimination or harassment. This is particularly important for individuals who may not have a supportive family or community and who may feel isolated or marginalized.

Additionally, Pride events serve as a way to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and promote equality and acceptance. Many Pride events feature speakers, workshops, and other educational opportunities that focus on issues such as discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia. These events provide a platform for individuals to share their experiences and stories and to advocate for…

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Aaron Matthew Laxton, LCSW

I am a psychotherapist who writes about mental health, addiction, recovery and the impact of substance use from personal experience. Views are my own.