It’s PRIDE MONTH!
It’s finally here! For some it's unquestionable... the best month of the year is in June!
The Love that’s felt throughout our community on a global scale during the rainbow month is always positively overwhelming as it leaves a wake of hope and overall progress. Our hearts soften & open wider coz of a higher frequency and vibration that we amplify as a collective. Lurking behind us this month stand innumerable departed souls that went through hardship in one way or another simply because they had a dream and the courage to envision a future society in which equality, freedom of expression and personal autonomy as conventional, accepted and respected ways of life. Now more than ever we're closer to realizing a civilization that was once just a dream.
You see, we have a choice to be happier, we have a choice to let things go in order to lift the weight off ourselves, to become lighter and simply allow ourselves to live a more meaningful life of service. Be anyone, any-they or anything really just as long as you’re happier, more confident, courageous and kind(er)… Yes, we as a collective have a long way to go in order to make changes in society to bring about a greater good.
However, during #PrideMonth let’s take a short breather and just for a minute look back and show ourselves a little more Love by remembering that we’re fighting the good fight!
Somehow this year feels different. It feels as if a filter has dimmed the colors of the rainbow. It’s more of an indifference sort of different. I suppose with everything we’ve been through the past 18 months our propensity to forgive is running a lil' low and our usual 24-hour Love-recharge kiosk is closed due to covid amidst the countless waves of lockdown.
It’s okay to run low on Love and empathy sometimes. After all, we are human – we may be spiritual beings having a human existence but we’re having a human existence none-the-less and that comes with human like periods of lows and highs. Recently we were witness to one of these lows. It was two weeks before the start of Pride month, and the organization that runs New York’s Pride march was fighting about cops. The leadership had just announced that officers could no longer take part in the march, including a contingent of LGBTQ officers that marched in uniform since 1996 on the basis of racial and class lines. This was a situation where Love was blocked by ego. It was forgotten that the very podium we live on is deeply rooted in inclusivity and equality. We recently celebrated Harvey Milk day and took a moment to reflect his essence and legacy through the very things he did to part-the-sea to get us one small step closer to living in absolute equality and zero discrimination and judgement. It’s in these situations we should break the emergency glass or pull that oxygen mask down toward us and just for a moment in our state of low-pressure find the mind-space to put ourselves in the shoes of Harvey Milk, of Marhsa P Johnson, of Alice Nkom, of Arsham Parsi, of Alex Au, of Chi Chia-Wei, of Peter Tatchell, of Maya Angelou and countless others and remember that they served and loved our community with an open and soft heart – even when times around them were seemingly dark.
During #PrideMonth, when we see acts of fear happening around us manifesting itself as hate groups or as individuals feeling a little lost, a little more anxious or a tad bit more angry or out of sorts with the world, let us help and relieve their fear with the only thing that can dispel fear… and that is Love. Bring back the rainbow, take away the dim filter, change thoughts and trust our gut. In this month of the Rainbow let’s bring out our inner care bear and stand tall, loud and proud and speak through our hearts. If this means rallying together although it’ll likely be in the silence of our homes (due to widespread lockdowns) then let’s find peace in it… because silence when paired with love becomes overwhelmingly deafening.
Each June, we honor the anniversary of Stonewall Uprising: the historic event that marked the start of the modern movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual rights (LGBTQIA+) across the globe. To celebrate, hundreds of Pride parades will take place in every nook and cranny of the world. With demonstrations, seminars, parties, marches, film festivals, concerts, parades, and more, there’s something for everyone at Pride (and at Pride, everyone is welcome). Ready to grab your rainbow flag and get your Pride on? Here’s our list of the 25 best Pride parades around the world for 2021.
*Dates will be updated as Pride works around Coronavirus social distancing guidelines and world-wide travel bans.
1. Copenhagen WorldPride Parade 2021
Copenhagen WorldPride 2021: August 12th – August 22nd, 2021
In 2021, Copenhagen Pride is the lucky host of WorldPride: a world-wide Pride event that celebrates a new city each year. In a massive celebration of equality and diversity, WorldPride Copenhagen will kick off with an opening ceremony on Ophelia Square on August 13th. The city’s WorldPride Square will emerge on the City Hall Square—right in the middle of Copenhagen—as an impressive village for all Copenhagen 2021 participants to gather all week long.
Copenhagen WorldPride Parade: August 13th and August 21st, 2021
Copenhagen 2021 will have not only one— but two— marches, as the mega event is taking place in both Malmö and Copenhagen. Malmö will host the opening march in the first weekend of the festival. The official WorldPride Parade on August 21st will wrap up the event, followed by closing ceremonies on City Hall Square.
As if it an’t get any better, local LGBTQIA+ sports club, Pan Idræt, (founded in 1984) is hosting EuroGames at the same time. This mega event is called Copenhagen 2021: a combined celebration of EuroGames and WorldPride in Copenhagen and Malmö.
2. Madrid Pride Parade 2021
Madrid (MADO) Pride, Madrid, Spain. Credit: Madrid Pride
Madrid Pride 2021: June 2021
Celebrating a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation in one of the best cities in Spain, MADO (Madrid Pride) is a colorful week-long party with open air concerts, parties, art, culture and sport, all taking place in Chueca: Madrid’s famous gay neighborhood and the very center of the city. The climax is the parade, with over 2 million attendees expected in 2021.
Madrid Pride Parade: TBA
The parade starts at Atocha Station and ends in Plaza de Colón. At the Plaza, a huge crowd and stage will welcome all the participants with music, dancing, and a reading of the manifesto of freedom, inclusion and diversity.
What’s better than one pride festival? Two. Check out WE Pride 2021: a 5-day fest that’s less about culture and history and more about fun: parties, VIP events, and world-class DJs.
3. New York City Pride Parade 2021
NYC Pride 2021: June 1st – June 30th, 2021
30 days, 50+ events, 3 million people. The event’s attached nonprofit, Heritage of Pride, plans and produces the city’s first and only official LGBTQIA+ Pride events each year to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969: the beginning of the modern Gay Rights movement.
NYC Pride March: TBA
The first march was held in 1970, and has since become an annual civil rights demonstration. Over the years, its purpose has expanded to include recognition of the fight against AIDS and to remember those we have lost to illness, violence and neglect. The NYC Pride march starts at 26th Street & 5th Ave and ends at 23rd Street & 7th Ave.
4. Paris Pride Parade 2021
Paris Pride 2021: June 27th – June 30th, 2021
Grab your friends and head to Le Marais, Paris’ gay district, for a week of non-stop parties that ends with one big event: Marche des Fiertés LGBTQ (Paris Gay Pride Parade). Marche des Fiertés LGBTQ is a historic event for the French capital, born in the 80’s when a group of locals from the community united over a fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Paris Pride Parade: TBA
The procession starts at Place de la Concorde (in front of the National Assembly) at 2pm and winds its way through Châtelet, Le Marais, Pont de Sully, and Bastille, before concluding with a massive (and free!) party at Place de la République.
As if Pride in Paris isn’t dreamy enough, Disneyland Paris is throwing a magical Pride celebration on in June 2021. In town for a few days?
5. Berlin Pride Parade 2021
Berlin pride parade 2021 CSD (Berlin Pride), Berlin, Germany. Credit: gayberlin4u
Berlin Pride 2021: July 23rd – July 25th, 2021
Berlin Pride is one of the biggest European Pride events of the year. Known by locals as CSD (Christopher Street Day), the event is a gay landmark that’s been celebrated in Berlin since 1979. Today, four decades later, over one million people gather each year to honor LGBTQ+ equality and self-determination in Germany. Attendees of CSD can expect everything from official club nights in Kreuzberg to queer film screenings across the city.
Berlin Pride Parade: July 24th, 2021
On Saturday, the parade leaves at 12pm at Kurfürstendamm and finishes at 14:00 at Brandenburger Tor. After dark, a huge Pride party will close the night and wrap up CSD celebrations.
Want to experience CSD from boat? Head over to the CSD auf der Spree for a pom-pom filled celebratory river tour.
6. Montréal Pride Parade 2021
Montréal Pride, Montréal, Canada.
Montreal Pride 2021: August 2021
Founded in 2007 by Montréal’s sexual & gender diversity communities, Montréal Pride Festival, aka Festival Fierté Montréal, is now the largest Francophone Pride gathering in the world. The organization’s primary mission is to “support and promote local communities while serving as a beacon of hope for people around the world who continue to battle injustice.” This year, Montréal Pride Festival will attract more than 2 million local and international visitors over two weeks of community, cultural and festive activities including free shows, panels, the Community Day and the oh-so-famous Pride Parade.
Montréal Pride Parde: TBA
The 2.7 km parade’s route will “symbolically link the old and the new,” departing from the former west end LGBTQ+ sector to arrive at the very heart of the new Gay Village. The parade will begin at Metcalfe Street and end on Alexandre-DeSève Street.
Don’t forget to celebrate Community Day on Saint-Catherine Street in the heart of the Village. Community Day draws over 90,000 visitors and is the perfect opportunity to meet local LGBTQ+ communities, promote your services and recruit allies. New to the city?
7. Taipei Pride Parade 2021
Taipei Pride Parade: October 2021
The biggest gay event in Taiwan is the Taipei Gay Pride Parade, with more then 80,000 people from around the world attending this vibrant 4-day event. The Parade starts from Kaidagelan Blvd and moves its way through the streets of Taipei before returning to the Gay Village for a huge party. then moves thought the streets of Taipei, ending up back where it started. The Gay Pride Parade actually features three different routes, that all end up back at the Gay Village. The parade lasts for roughly two hours, so be sure to bring plenty of energy!
Many Asian countries are not as LGBTQ+-friendly as Taiwan, so the Taiwan Gay Pride Parade attracts thousands of people from neighboring countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, creating a truly wonderful (and international!) Pride experience.
8. Buenos Aires Pride Parade 2021
Buenos Aires Pride, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Buenos Aires Pride 2021: TBA
Buenos Aires hosts its biggest celebration of diversity in November, with a week of LGBT festivities and the annual Pride parade. Events will take place at various venues, culminating in the parade that runs every year along one of the city’s most important avenues, Avenida de Mayo, from the Casa Rosada, or “pink house” – the headquarters of the Argentine national government in Plaza de Mayo to the National Congress building. The event continues outside the Congress with speeches, music and dancing, which lasts into the evening, and continues afterwards in buses, trains and bars and nightclubs.
9. Amsterdam Pride Parade 2021
Amsterdam Pride, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Amsterdam Pride 2021: July 31st – August 8th, 2021
Amsterdam Pride is one of the biggest (and most unique) Pride events in the entire world. Here, look forward to Amsterdam street parties all weekend long and, of course, the famous Canal Parade through the historic Amsterdam Unesco canals.
Amsterdam Pride Parade: August 6th – August 8th, 2021
The boats start at the Scheepvaart museum at the eastern part of the city center moving towards the Amstel river. The floats will continue from there taking the Prinsengracht towards the Westerdok. The Canal Parade starts around 12:30 pm and will cruise until late afternoon.
The street parties after the Canal Parade on start at around 16:00. Spectators of the parade often go to Amstelveld (which is direct next to the route), the large main stage on Dam square (en route towards to Central Station) and Rembrandtplein. On top of Pride, Amsterdam’s top music venues and clubs will be hosting parties all night long.
10. Toronto Pride Parade 2021
Toronto Pride, Toronto, Canada.
Toronto Pride 2021: June 1st – June 30th, 2021
Head over to Pride Toronto for a busy, colorful Pride weekend (with an estimated attendee count of over one million for 2021!) The celebratory weekend includes a special Family Pride program, Trans Pride, the Dyke March and the famous Pride Parade.
Toronto Pride Parade: TBA
The party starts from the corner of Church St and Bloor St all continues all the way down Yonge St to Yonge-Dundas Square. The city of Toronto urges visitors to use public transportation to make travel easy. Don’t forget to stop at one of Toronto’s famous rooftop bars after getting your Pride on!
11. Washington DC Pride Parade 2021
Capital Pride Parade, Washington, DC.
Washington DC Pride 2021: June 2021
Washington DC Pride (aka, Capital Pride Alliance) serves DC’s LGBTQ+ community through entertainment, community outreach and diversity celebrations. Each year, the nonprofit organization curates Capital Pride, which features a popular collection of events including the Pride Parade, Festival and Concert.
Washing DC Pride Parade: TBA
Head to the historic Dupont and Logan Circle neighborhoods to experience the parade. More than 200 organizations will walk the 1.5 mile route with floats, trucks, signs, banners, and world-famous entertainment to commemorate Pride’s history and support the LGBTQ+ community, making this one of DC’s favorite and most impactful parades.
12. London Pride Parade 2021
London Pride, London, England.
London Pride 2021: June 2021
Pride in London is “about the people, for the people.” This year’s theme is #PrideJubilee, remembering fifty years of activism, protests and victories that have made the movement what it is today.
London Pride Parade: TBA
The parade kicks off at Portland Place at 12pm, moving down Oxford Circus, along Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and then passing Trafalgar Square before finishing on Whitehall. London Pride recommends that spectators avoid busy locations, like Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, and notes that the parade will fill the whole afternoon until around 5:30pm.
Looking for real-time London Pride updates? Download their app and have everything from updates to information right at your fingertips. Pride advocate with limitations or anxiety? Book a Grandstand seat and make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action (and a great place to take a breather if you need one).
13. Zurich Pride Parade 2021
Zurich Pride, Zurich, Switzerland.
Zurich Pride Demonstration: TBA
The peaceful demonstration procession of Zurich Pride is the political manifestation of the LGBTIQ community throughout Switzerland. Celebrations will take place on Friday and Saturday. All LGBTIQ people, organizations, and allies from home and abroad are invited to participate in the demonstration and to peacefully announce their political message. The two- day fest offers a wide variety of artists, politics and LGBTIQ-organizations on two stages, information stands and, of course, amazing food and drink. Pride will take place on the central Place of Sechseläuten, just at the shore of the lake of Zurich.
For this event, registration isn’t necessary. All folks are welcome, regardless of gender and sexual orientation, making it one of the most accessible Pride events around the world.
14. Dublin Pride Parade 2021
Dublin Pride, Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin Pride 2021: June 2021
In 1983, the first large scale LGBTQ+ protest march took place in Dublin, Ireland. It was organized by the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Collective in response to the release of the murderers of a gay man named Declan Flynn. Since then, Dubliners have been marching in the thousands to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ rights, and Pride week continues to gather people around meet-ups, parties, lectures, marathons, and more.
Dublin Pride Parade: TBA
Gathering on O’Connell Street and Parnell Square on Saturday, June 29th, 7,000 people from over 150 different groups with floats and marching bands and colourful costumes will lead off the parade. From O’Connell Street, the parade will turn on to Eden Quay and pass Liberty Hall, where the first large scale march for LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland started in 1983. The Parade will cross the Liffey at Talbot Memorial Bridge and travel along City Quay, Lombard Street, Westland Row and end with a free and totally fun outdoor event in Merrion Square.
15. Johannesburg Pride Parade 2021
Johannesburg Pride, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Johannesburg Pride Parade: October 2021
With over 30 years of advocacy, Johannesburg Pride has grown to become the most established and well-attended Pride event in South Africa. Adopting a bigger cause in 2019, Johannesburg Pride created Pride of Africa: a unified platform and voice for a diverse community, introducing a lifestyle conference and youth shelter. The Pride village will be set up on Rivonia Road, between Sandton Drive and West Str, Sandton. The march will leave from the assembly point and move en-route through the Sandton CBD.
If you’re not ready to let the party die after Pride, don’t forget to check out Afropunk: one of our favorite black festivals in South Africa.
16. Mexico City Pride Parade 2021
Mexico City Pride 2021: June 2021
Mexico City Gay Pride truly is one of the largest, wildest and crazy gay Pride events in the whole of Latin America. Mexico City Pride, or Marcha del Orgullo LGBT de la Ciudad de México, takes place every June and attracts over one million people to the streets of the capital. Mexico City is already well known for its lively gay scene, so you can imagine that celebrations reach new heights during Pride. The first Mexico City Pride took place 1978, so get ready for a well-rehearsed (and incredible) time.
Mexico City Pride Parade: TBA
The main event for Mexico City Gay Pride 2021 is the Marcha de la Diversidad. The gay Pride parade departs from the soaring El Ángel de la Independencia victory column in Zona Rosa, and continues all the way to the city’s iconic Zocalo. Following the parade, a massive party will kick off in the Zocalo for the entire night.
17. Sydney Pride Parade 2021
Sydney Pride 2021: June 2021
A festival of LGBTI+ art, cinema, trivia, debates, sports, fundraising activities and club events across Sydney. The Sydney Pride Festival launches at Stonewall Hotel on Thursday 6th June and runs from the 6th until the 30th June.
While Sydney honors Pride month with a parade and celebrations all through June, the real party happens in February for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Register for 2021 here.
18. Athens Pride Parade 2021
Athens Pride, Athens, Greece.
Athens Pride Parade: June 2021
Every year in June, thousands of people gather on West Washington Street for the annual Athens PRIDE Street Festival. Athens PRIDE is currently the largest gathering of the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the greater Athens area. After Sunday’s street festival, they aim to offer smaller events focused on cultivating community and connection between the local LGBTQ+ community and allies alike.
19. Metro Manila Pride Parade 2021
Metro Manila Pride, Manila, Philippines.
Metro Manila Pride March 2021: TBA
Metro Manila Pride is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization that creates safe, affirming, informative, educational, and empowering spaces for LGBTQIA+ people in Metro Manila. The full-day event will be held at the Marikina Sports Center in Marikina City. Admission is free, but attendees should register in advance here.
20. San Francisco Pride Parade 2021
San Fransisco Pride, San Fransisco, California.
San Fransisco Pride 2021: June 2021
Get ready to celebrate “Generations of Resistance” at San Francisco Pride. Immerse yourself into two-days of engagement and entertainment with a full lineup on both the main stage and community stage.
San Fransisco Pride Parade: TBA
San Francisco Pride is one of the oldest and largest LGBTQIA parades in the world. Contingents march through the heart of the city, along Market Street, with more than 100,000 spectators. The parade starts from Embarcadero and celebrations continue all the way to Civic Center.
21. Reykjavik Pride Parade 2021
Reykjavik Pride, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Reykjavik Pride 2021: August 2021
2021 will been a big year for LGBTQ+ folks and allies in Iceland. Not only does 2021 mark 52 years from the Stonewall riots, but Reykjavík Pride is also celebrating its 22nd anniversary. To party it up, Reykjavik Pride will run for ten days instead of six, starting with an opening ceremony. The schedule will include a Pride Parade, outdoor festival and ginormous Pride Party.
Reykjavik Pride Parade: TBA
Reykjavik Pride puts the creativity into the hands of the participants, and encourages registered attendees to start prepping early so that their message is exciting, fun and entirely original.
22. Tel Aviv Pride Parade 2021
Tel Aviv Pride, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Tel Aviv Pride 2021: June 2021
Known as the gay capital of the Middle East, Tel Aviv celebrates Israel’s LGBTQ community with Tel Aviv Pride, a week-long series of totally fun events. Tel Aviv is a diverse city with multicultural influences, tourists from all over the world, and super open-minded locals. Every summer, folks of every gender, religion and color flood the streets and gather for a celebration of acceptance, love and joy.
Tel Aviv Pride Parade: TBA
This year the parade will start at 10am with a large fair. At 12pm, the parade will launch from Ben Tsiyon – Melchett towards Bograshov St, Ben Yehuda and the Herbert Samual Promenade. Rolling late into the evening, you can expect a parade of artists and DJ sets alongside food stands and colorful Pride merch. The parade’s last stop is the Charles Clore Garden, where thousands of people get down to live shows, hang out in bars and enjoy an amazing view of Tel Aviv’s blue beach.
In town for Pride and want to see more of the country? Hop on a Gay Bus between and make stops in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea and Galilee.
23. São Paulo Pride Parade 2021
São Paulo Pride Parade, São Paulo, Brazil.
São Paulo Pride Parade: June 2021
The largest gay Pride parade in the world (over 3.5 million attendees!) will celebrate its 25th anniversary when the São Paulo LGBT Pride Parade takes over the city in 2021. Dating app Grindr awarded the Sao Paulo Pride with the title of best parade in 2012, so this definitely isn’t one to be missed.
São Paulo is somewhat famous for its sex clubs, cinemas and saunas. If this is your thing, all will be open and active during Pride weekend.
24. Stockholm Pride Parade 2021
Stockholm Pride, Stockholm, Germany.
Stockholm Pride 2021: July 2021
With its gender-fluid fashion and colorful LGBT scene, Stockholm is a vibrant, open and welcoming city. Founded in 1998, Stockholm Pride is now the Largest LGBTIQ events in Scandinavia as well as the largest annual event in Stockholm. Stockholm Pride’s activities are centered around three main arenas: Pride House, Pride Park and Pride Parade.
Stockholm Pride Parade: TBA
Every year, nearly half a million people flock to see the Stockholm Pride Parade. The parade marches through the center of the city (starting at at city hall and ending at PridePark). The parade is “a joyful and colorful manifestation of love for human rights; a demonstration of the right of everyone to love and be who they want.”
If you’re feeling adventurous, check out “Kinky Quarters”: a specific area with BDSM, fetishism, and other sub-cultures that common people call kinky. It was created for folks to talk, shop, and get to know more about everything associated with kink life.
25. Shanghai Pride Parade 2021
Credit: Shanghai Pride
Shanghai Pride 2021: TBA
This year, Shanghai Gay Pride celebrates its tenth birthday. Because all political demonstrations are banned in China, Shanghai Gay Pride doesn’t feature a parade. However, the organizers more than make up for it with a packed 10-day program featuring a Pride film festival, ‘pink picnic’, bike ride, run, dance party, barbecue and photo exhibition.
Check out the Shanghai Pride Film Festival (SPFF), which runs in June.
|This article is sourced from: https://seeker.io/pride-parades. This transformative remix work constitutes a fair-use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law. “The Biggest Pride Parades Around the World 2021” by Leah Fishman is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License – permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution.|
We are all in the pursuit of happiness—to live freely, authentically and reach our full potential.
The reality for many, however, is the opposite.
For some in the LGBT+ community, coming out means strained relationships with friends and family or being uncomfortable at work. Finding a safe and supportive environment can often mean making big lifestyle changes, such as moving into a different home, getting a new job and starting fresh.
On May 17, we observe International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), and we stand in solidarity with the Pride community to help break the silence.
When we speak out against these harmful prejudices, we help the LGBT+ community reclaim their space and support them in leading authentic lives.
Meet Rudy and Lily.
Rudy Cupido is an Associate Manager in Program, Project and Service Management in South Africa, and Lily Nguyen is a Management Consultant in Talent and Organization in the United States. They share their journeys of self-discovery and acceptance, explain why it’s so important to break the silence and offer advice for how everyone can help.
The journey of coming out
Rudy: I was reluctant to come out, as I wasn’t sure how people would react. I finally came out to my best friend. She knew how homophobic society could be and was more worried for me than I was. That’s when I realized that coming out was a journey not just for me, but also for the people in whom we confide. And it’s important to take the journey with them.
Lily: Coming out is rarely a single moment; rather, it’s a process of coming to terms with who you are and understanding how that ripples through the rest of your life and relationships. I was fortunate to have been born and raised in a fairly liberal community, so I didn’t face much resistance when coming out. My coming out wasn’t a big announcement—people already knew. While my mother was in denial for a time, we’ve been able to work toward acceptance.
Rising above discrimination and ignorance
Lily: A bulk of the homophobia I’ve experienced is in the form of biases, under-the-breath comments and harmful stereotypes. I’ve always found it helpful to have one-on-one conversations with these individuals, asking them to deconstruct and understand the impact of their words or actions.
Rudy: I still remember my dad’s words when I came out to him: “It doesn’t change anything. He’s still the same person.” To this day, his words give me the courage to be more confident and to take on the homophobia I encounter every now and then. And it helps to work in an organization where I can be myself.
Breaking the silence
Rudy: My journey toward becoming a self-assured gay man hasn’t been easy. But I was determined to challenge myself every step of the way. In 2011, I was a finalist in the Mr. Gay, South Africa Contest. I wanted to take a stand and motivate others to do the same. This encouraged my friend’s brother to come out without fear. I try to do the same with the Pride talks we’ve initiated at Accenture in South Africa. We conduct interactive sessions aimed at educating our people on Pride.
How to make a difference
Lily and Rudy answer frequently asked questions about raising your voice, building awareness and making a difference:
“I want to come out. But I’m scared. What do I do?”
Rudy: If you have accepted who you are and are ready to share this, but find it difficult to talk to your close family and friends—try telling someone outside of your close circles. This removes the emotional attachment and fear of being rejected by someone you expect love from. In doing so, you’ll become more comfortable talking about this part of your identity. Eventually, you’ll be ready to be you at all times.
Lily: Find your community! Coming out can be an intimidating process, so it’s good to have people who support you and make you feel safe. Also understand that you should only come out when you feel ready—there is no timeline but your own.
“How can I support the LGBT+ community as an ally?”
Lily: Sometimes, you can make a difference by just getting educated on Pride. Ask questions and listen with an open heart. It’s really as simple as understanding some of the basic issues faced by the LGBT+ community—homelessness, workplace issues, access to healthcare, hate crimes. If you want to do more, just show up—at events, marches, campaigns, rallies or formative discussions. A lot of the powerful work is done through educating about biases and empowering individuals to be themselves.
Rudy: Understand that your voice can be used for good and to help people feel included. It is important to create awareness, stand up for others, and educate people about the reality of harmful prejudices.
“How can we all work toward an equal future?”
Rudy: We all need to help each other in our journey toward an equal future. While it’s important to have strong and vocal allies for Pride, I think it’s equally important for the LGBT+ community to create an accommodating environment for allies to support them. Sometimes, we must assume that the ally has the right intentions but might need some encouraging. Open communication is key.
Lily: IDAHOTB is a reminder that we’ve made progress, but we still have a lot of work to do. IDAHOTB gives all of us the power to influence, shape and push our world towards a future of true freedom and equality for all. Let’s grab it and make our voices heard!
Here's an example of homophobia. James and Dain were enjoying a night out together in Brighton in May 2016 when they were followed out of a nightclub and attacked on the seafront. The assault has left physical and emotional scars.
Warning: This story contains details of violence and images which some readers might find upsetting.
LGBT+ Awareness & Allies
This article is sourced from: accenture.com. This transformative remix work constitutes a fair-use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law. “Break the silence, accelerate equality” by Accenture Blog is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License – permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution.