Is ‘LGBTQ Pride’ too much?


Belinda Tarpley-Sottung speaks to a crowd Friday in downtown Lexington, in front of the courthouse, after the U.S. Supreme Court decided states must allow same-sex couples to marry. Photo by Kyle Arensdorf

Blake Blevins

‘Never be ashamed of who you are.’

For many, this notion is the foundation of LGBTQ Pride Month.

Others, however, denounce the celebration for reasons rooted in religion or politics.

Allies of the LGBTQ community rally alongside one another, while non-sympathizers generally express themselves with cold apathy or outright denouncement.

The controversy behind the annual LGBTQ celebration leads to the question — is it necessary?

The LGBTQ community has not always boasted the visibility it has today. For most of history members were forced into hiding. Open (or exposed) lesbians, gays and others were ostracized at best and suffered abuse in many other cases.

The movement for LGBTQ rights became increasingly prevalent in the 1960s. The celebration of Pride Month occurs in June to commemorate one of the landmark events in this movement — a riot at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club, in protest of the targeting of gays by police.

Perhaps the most memorably recent headlines pertaining to LGBTQ rights include mentions of marriage equality and controversy over transgender men and women using their respective restrooms.

With so many demands met; with the acquisition of so many rights by the LGBTQ community, what more could possibly be asked for?

Homosexuality has been decriminalized. Same-sex marriage has been legalized nationwide. Is a month-long session of attracting attention and celebrating necessary? Do people really need to see that?


As of May 2017, same-sex sexual activity is illegal in 71 countries and the penalty is death in eight of them; conversion therapy is only banned in three countries.

Over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced across various U.S. states during the 2016 legislative sessions, according to a Human Rights Campaign report.

HRC also found that in 2016 eight states have laws restricting coverage of LGBTQ topics in public schools and only 14 states had non-discriminatory policies on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the education system.

This was only slightly lower than the mere 20 states who protected LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination.

If the world is not forced to look the LGBTQ community in the eye for June and every other month, none of these inexcusable numbers will change.

However, visibility is not just important for others. It is also important within the LGBTQ community.

Each day an LGBTQ child is shamed by their family, religious leader, education system and peers. LGBTQ youth face steeper rates of bullying and suicide. They are more likely to suffer from mental illness and to be homeless.

Pride is exactly what the LGBTQ community needs. Each person that marches, stands tall and speaks up is a blow to those who wish to oppress and a beacon to those who just need a little inspiration.

Never be ashamed of who you are. Self-respect is a dangerous and powerful tool that no one can take away.