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Pride means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For some, it’s a time to take to the streets, put on far too much glitter, and come together in celebration. For others, it represents a period of reflection; a period when we acknowledge how far the LGBTQIA+ community has come thanks to the tireless work of those who fought for our rights. However, as we celebrate the progress we’ve made, we must also pause and think about how far we have to go.


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 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.


Still many don’t see the importance of Pride anymore, it’s seen as a party to attend and not the protest it started as. Just a few weeks ago Izmir and Antalya Governorates banned Pride events, the most recent in a series of similar government actions in Turkey in recent years, advancing concerns about public safety, national security, public order, protection of general morality or rights and freedoms of others, as well as based on the need to prevent possible violence and terrorism.

Despite the ban hundreds gathered for the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March. After a press statement was read out by the organisers, police violently attacked the crowd which dispersed in the streets surrounding Taksim and kept on marching and chanting. Five people were detained.


Furthermore pride is a place to create visibility, come together as a community, reach out to allies and protest. Pride is more than just a glitzy party, it’s a day set aside to remember the struggles the LGBTQIA+ community faced — and continue to face — to gain our rights. Let’s remind each other and the world of the struggles we still face, especially among the less fortunate. If we’re not out telling our stories, then who will?


Sources: of-the-uks-lgbtq-community-17923291 ck-trans-women

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