[Image credit: Dmitry A. Mottl / Wikimedia]
Living in Toronto, it’s easy to take Pride for granted. Being out and openly proud about it is perfectly legal, and though our mayor can be categorized as a bit of a homophobe, he’s not actively trying to destroy us. Honestly, the worst enemy of our gay village is the cost of rent and the spread of condos; comparative to other places around the world, we’re not doing too badly for ourselves.
For example, let’s take a look at Russia. Despite Putin’s ban on “gay propaganda,” several demonstrations were held in the country recently as a sorta gay-pride rally. And in case you’re wondering how that went, Mashable reports that at least six people were detained by police, and at least four people were arrested.
Apparently, one demonstration was held in front of the mayor of Moscow’s office to celebrate Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. A second was held in a quarantine area that was apparently designed for free-speech rallies.
The most depressingly ironic part of all of this? One march was planned to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Russia legally decriminalizing homosexuality. I’m guessing it’s pretty hard to celebrate LGBT pride when your government won’t even allow you to discuss being LGBT in public.
So yes, it’s easy to write off Pride as just a fun party in the middle of summer. Partially because it involves a lot of partying, and it takes place in the middle of summer. But there are still a lot of people out there who, for one reason or another, can’t express their pride and don’t have the privilege of living openly. Pride is fun, yes, but it helps to remember why we’re celebrating Pride in the first place.