Welcome to Pride Month, a time of reflection, celebration and future for the global LGBTQ+ community.
To observe this event is to uplift LGBTQ+ voices, emphasising the need for acceptance and the power of unity every day of the year. Through our actions and brand values as a whole, we want to inspire conversation, promote understanding and ensure we can all enjoy the right to live without fear or discrimination. Continue reading to understand the gist of Pride Month, as well as the support and resources available to you.
Every month is Pride Month as far as we are concerned, but there is historical significance to the event. June serves as a reminder of progress, but also the ongoing struggle for equality and the right to freely express love and identity.
The roots of Pride Month are found in the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal moment regarded as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. The uprising began on June 28, 1969, after New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. The next six days saw spontaneous protests and demonstrations against the criminalisation of homosexual gatherings.
The Stonewall Riots mark just one milestone that has shaped global LGBTQ+ perspectives, as the need for social liberation existed before and continues to exist well after the event. Today, the community and its allies continue to chip away at the legal and social constraints on identity expression.
Everywhere we look, the influence of the LGBTQ+ community is felt. Fashion, style, pop culture, arts, cinema, language, media, music, and more - so many of the best parts of life have been pioneered by a group that was once forced to the fringe of society. There’s celebration to be had in the details, as well as in what makes us whole.
Pride Month is a dual celebration and commemoration, retaining deep symbolic meaning. We continue to honour the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on culture, fostering a sense of belonging across all corners of life.
At Merchants, we believe that we are not equal until we are all equal.
Most of all, Pride Month is a call to action. It serves as a platform for activism that highlights the collective struggle and ongoing discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people. It’s not enough to merely acknowledge the month or turn our logo rainbow, there’s genuine work to be done.
The act of understanding requires us to look beyond our own perspectives. Accepting those as they are is the ultimate exercise in empathy, which is a non-negotiable as supportive community members and allies.
To truly recognise Pride and fight for social justice, we must foster a society that embraces all individuals, in an effort to encourage everyone to openly express their identity without fear or shame. Not just allowing but respecting and promoting the visibility of different identities, sexual orientations and more is the foundation of Pride, and the foundation of a diverse society.
From raising awareness to dismantling stereotypes, we each have a role in creating an inclusive future. Beyond your immediate circles, here are a few places to direct your curiosity, donations and support:
Australian Pride Network - The best place to find LGBTQ+ events and marches across Australia.
Pride Foundation Australia - A volunteer-led organisation dedicated to intersectional issues and specific priorities that advance the freedom of all LGBTQ+ community members.
Equality Australia - An advocacy group that fights for the rights of Australians from both a legal and social standpoint.
QLife - An anonymous peer support and referral group for those who want to talk over the phone or via an online chat service.
Minus 18 - An organisation supporting and protecting LGBTQ+ youth in all circumstances.
BlaQ - An organisation providing specific support to First Nations LGBTQ+ people.
If you or anyone you know needs urgent support, please reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via their 24/7 chat function.
For more community reads, browse The Journal here.