Pride is the acceptance that one‚Äôs existence is justifiable by the fact that they are simply themself. This concept is celebrated each year in the month of June by people from all corners of the world.
Although the acronym is consistently evolving, LGBTQIA+ is considered to be all encompassing. The 7 letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual. The ‚Äú+‚ÄĚ typically implies the letters T, Q, A, P, creating the acronym LGBTTQQIAAP. This acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioniong, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual.
The month is also to honor the Stonewall Riots, which occured in 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City. This event took place in response to a violent raid by New York City police, at an illegal gay club known as Stonewall Inn. Six days of protests followed, where residents and bar goers continuously endured brutal encounters with police. The Stonewall Uprising sparked momentum in the gay rights movement internationally.
During Pride many activities are facilitated, including social gatherings, concerts and DJ sets, parades, workshops and guest speakers. These activities are not confined to one area of the world. Rather, the globe comes together to educate allies and celebrate the existence of these communities. These countries include India, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, Romania, Ireland, Israel, Taiwan, Iceland and many more.
However, communities also come together to remember folks who‚Äôve lost their lives to HIV and/or AIDs during the month of Pride. There are also services held for those lost to hate crimes. Some of these gatherings take place at dedicated memorial sites. One of the many important sites is The Pink Triangle Monument, which is located in Tel Aviv, Israel. This structure was built in honor of the gay and lesbian victims under Adolf Hitler‚Äôs nazism.
Ilaria Maiorino (@shotbyilaria) is a photographer based in Milan, Italy and is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2019, Maiorino documented the vibrant Pride parade in her city. Milan‚Äôs Pride is celebrated for a week, from June 21st June 30th. The events sparked joy and positivity as folks in every color flooded the streets. On June 29th, folks from across the globe gathered as the Milan Pride Parade commenced. The parade began at Piazza Duca d‚ÄôAosta and ended at Corso Buenos Aires after a half mile march. At the end of the parade route a large stage with multiple musicians played a variety of music in order to signify the close of the avenue and to energize the celebration. In 2018 Milan had a immensely successful 250,000 turnout, setting the record for the amount of people attending a Pride event in Milan. Although there is no statistic on the amount of folks in attendance in 2019, one can only image that the numbers were over a quarter of a million this time around.
Maiorino remembers a specific moment during the parade, when two people shared a kiss. ‚ÄúIt was such a passionate kiss that just happened to be in front of me... It was so lovely and powerful.‚ÄĚ Being that this is the first time Maiorino brought her camera to a Pride event, she says ‚Äúit was an amazing feeling when people spontaneously posed or simply looked at [her] for a photo while marching with so much pride.‚ÄĚ Reflecting on the experience, she adds that ‚Äúnone of these photos were ‚Äėcreated‚Äô, [she] was simply walking around and captured what inspired [her] and caught [her] eye.‚ÄĚ
Although a Pride celebration could not take place in 2020, Maiorino plans to attend the small celebrations taking place this month and hopes grander celebrations are brought back as it becomes safe again.