According to Merriam-Webster, pride is a feeling that you respect yourself. It is also the feeling that you deserve to be valued by other people. Pride is so much more than a simple definition. It is more than parades and events where you wave a pride flag around in celebration of your identity.
There are certain months and days in the year when people are encouraged to celebrate their pride. For LGBTQ+ individuals, pride month occurs in June, and LGBT History Month is in October. Black History Month takes place in February, and National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated between September 15th and October 15th.
Many other months exist to celebrate different cultures and groups of people. We are uplifted during these times, and we are allowed to shout our love for ourselves from the rooftops with little resistance from others. While these times are great, pride should be celebrated throughout the year and not limited to certain days and months
What does pride mean?
People can be proud of their sense of style or their values. You might be proud of the accomplishments you have earned throughout your life. But what we’re honestly talking about here is being proud of your identity.
Pride can be celebrated within yourself, or your loved ones might observe pride on your behalf for honoring yourself and by simply being who you are. People feel pride in their cultures and other aspects of their being. Pride can also mean different things to people within the same communities.
Many people feel forced to shrink themselves down and become what others want them to be. They hide different aspects of themselves out of fear or shame from beliefs others instill in them. These aspects could be their gender identity, sexuality, culture, and many other things. There is this idea that you have to fit into a particular mold to be respected, but people need to feel free to be themselves.
Pride is all about celebrating diversity. Until there is equality in the world, human rights need to be talked about consistently. Everyone deserves the freedom to be themselves and should feel safe as they walk through the world. People get physically assaulted by simply looking or acting a certain way.
Pride allows more discussions around these issues to take place. Let’s further explore what pride means to specific groups of people.
What does pride mean in regards to LGBTQ+ individuals?
LGBTQ+ pride is frequently discussed. Many people outside of the community understand what LGBTQ+ pride is because of how often it is addressed. Some companies use this pride to profit off of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies. During June, these companies load their shelves with flags and other items in hopes of making money off of something they see as a trend.
This situation is both good and bad. It is wonderful for people to have visibility. Unfortunately, big corporations do not always care about the LGBTQ+ individuals that they are making money off of. Some companies donate the proceeds they make selling Pride-themed items. When the proceeds are given back to the communities who need them the most, this is great, but when this profit stays in the pockets of wealthy people who do not care, this is an issue.
For LGBTQ+ individuals, Pride is a time when they get to celebrate free from social oppression. Discrimination does not just disappear for these four weeks, but there are more opportunities for people to express themselves without having to worry as much. People can show up and be their most authentic selves at festivals and events. They can wear pride clothes and wave the flags they identify with.
This month can be challenging for people who are not out of the closet. They have to watch as others celebrate their identities without being allowed to celebrate their own. It can be a good thing for them as well. They can see other people being themselves and picture their futures aligning with this image.
What does pride mean to Black people?
#BlackLivesMatter is more than just a hashtag. Black people face stereotyping and racial profiling daily. According to this research, Black Americans face ten times the gun homicides, 18 times the gun assault injuries, and almost three times the fatal police shootings of white Americans.
Discrimination based on the color of one’s skin and even something that seems as simple as a hairstyle is still commonplace. Natural hair discrimination still exists with little to no protection for Black people. There is a fight for The CROWN Act to become a reality in all 50 states. The CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, and the mission behind it is to end race-based hair discrimination.
Hair is just one of the many aspects of Black culture that deserves to be celebrated, not shunned. There are many important parts of Black culture worth exploring, from music to food.
Black women often have it much worse than other groups in America. They earn 63 cents for every dollar a white man earns. Black women’s unemployment rate was 10.9% in 2020 while for white women this was 7.6%.
With the history of slavery in America and the oppression and discrimination that is still alive today, Black pride is an important thing to celebrate. This pride may also encourage others to learn about Black history. One of the biggest reasons for hatred comes from a lack of understanding of other cultures. The more educated people are, the better things seem to be.
Being LGBTQ+ and Black comes with unique challenges. Some LGBTQ+ individuals don’t realize we have Black (and non-Black) drag queens and transgender women to thank for where Pride is today. In 1969, Marsha P. Johnson led protests at Stonewall in demand of equal rights. There are many other Black individuals to thank for where LGBTQ+ Pride is today.
Brands need to be better allies for LGBTQ+ and Black communities. The Marketing Society shed light on this in 2020.
What does pride mean to Latinx individuals?
For anyone unfamiliar, Latinx refers to a person of Latin American origin or descent. It is used as a non-binary or gender-neutral alternative to Latina or Latino. There are mixed opinions about this term within the community. According to this report from 2020, only 3% use the term Latinx. We will use it for the sake of this article to be sure everyone is included.
Latinx people can look different and come in all shades. Some people with this heritage are assumed to be white, which can be hard for them. The idea of people being white-passing happens to many people within BIPOC communities. Most multiracial individuals want to be recognized within their communities. They are often made to feel as if they are not enough as they are. Pride may be especially important to these individuals.
When comments are made regularly like “go back to your country,” it makes perfect sense why Latinx pride tends to be felt so deeply. National Hispanic Heritage Month lands between September 15th and October 15th.
Hispanic culture comes with unique traditions, values, rituals, and celebrations. There are eating habits and certain foods that are important within the culture too. Mexican food is the most popular Hispanic cuisine seen in the United States. This is probably thanks to the largest percentage of Hispanic individuals in America being Mexican, at 61.4%. Other percentages include Puerto Ricans, Central Americans, South Americans, and Cubans. According to the 2019 United States Census, 60.5 million Hispanics live here.
Some people within the Latinx community identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. They may face additional struggles.
What does pride mean to Asian people?
According to this research, there were 22.4 million Asians in America in 2019. This number is expected to reach 46 million by 2060. 24% come from Chinese origin. Other origins include India, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and more.
The pandemic has been a dark time for Asian-Americans. We had a president that was referring to Covid-19 as the “Kung Flu.” Many people misunderstood the origin of the virus, and some still do. Instead of learning more about it, they chose to spread hate towards Asian individuals. You likely saw the hashtag #stopasianhate online.
In a time when there is even more hate being thrown towards Asians than there ever seemed to be before, they need to be allowed to freely express Pride in their culture and heritage. They shouldn’t be ashamed of their culture even if others want them to be.
Asian pride is a way for Asian people to celebrate and honor their ancestry. In America, people who don’t pass as white have to deal with more obstacles. Racial discrimination is a real issue. There is plenty to celebrate when it comes to Asian cultures.
Asian individuals who come out as LGBTQ+ may have even more difficulties when it comes to navigating their identity. The Asian Pride Project sheds light on what it means to be Asian and LGBTQ+. Pride ASIA is another group on a mission to empower Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ+ communities. Everyone deserves to be loved by their friends and family unconditionally.
Be proud of who you are no matter what!
You should not have to be a white cis-gendered male to fit in in this world. The more we celebrate our unique identities and cultures, the more others feel comfortable to be the most authentic versions of themselves.
Celebrating your heritage shouldn’t be forced into a single day, week, or month in a year. People should be able to express pride all year long.
People should always be lifting each other instead of bringing each other down. Focus on learning more about the history and culture of different communities. Shed light on figures, authors, musicians, and others within different cultures. Working towards understanding each other can go a long way.
There is a difference between having pride and thinking you are better than other people. People on the outside often mistake pride as something people express because they feel superior. That is far from reality.
If you have faced discrimination because of your race, culture, sexuality, or gender identity, feeling pride in those aspects of yourself is a great thing. It means you are taking these negative views people have and owning your identity.
People are always going to have their own opinions. What is the most important is how you feel and speak about yourself. Feeling proud might seem overrated to those who do not experience oppression, but it is a vital step in accepting and expressing who you are. Pride exists within every community as another way to reject what others say is the right way to be.
Some people may want you to dim your colors and lower your voice, but you’re allowed to feel proud. Celebrating pride is something everyone should be able to do. As long as what you feel proud of does not harm others, you should show the world who you are and celebrate yourself!