Pride Month pride

Queers excited to be themselves

Kiki Koeppen, Staff Writer

June, or pride month, is a month of dignity and freedom for any member and supporter of LGBTQ.  

June has been deemed the title of “pride month” ever since the demonstration that took place in 1969. It’s a time where queer people and non queer people alike celebrate their achievements, openness and happiness they have down right earned. It’s a month of celebration, equality, happiness, joy, knowledge, parades, and rainbows. It is a time that people of all ages look forward to for months.

“I’m very excited,” Dan Levinthal, a openly gay junior said. “I’ve been hyper all year to go to Pride, honestly. Like it’s just constantly in the back of my head that i’m going to go and i’m just so excited. I’m just looking forward to seeing all of my friends and hanging out with them and just having a good time in general and just seeing all the different events that are going on, the different floats and just seine everyone be happy”

Not only do young children and teenagers look forward to the month of happiness and pride, but grown adult, people who have known they were queer for years, look forward to.

I’ve never really used to go to Pride,” said Michael Procopio, an open adult gay man. “I used to go out of town to avoid the crowds because I’m not really big on crowds and parades, but as I got older I realized the importance of if and how lucky I am to live in San francisco. To live in an area where being gay is not a big deal at all. I started to see it as much more important for people in different areas of the country where it’s still a bit of a challenge. So now I celebrate and I celebrate them more than me. Because I’m not proud because I’m gay. I don’t think anyone’s proud of their sexual identity but I think there’s sort of a pride in being who you are and celebrating that freedom. I think that’s important.”

Pride is not only a time to celebrate you’re openness, sexuality, gender, and freedom, but other people’s as well.

“What I’m looking forward to is spending time with friends.” Procopio said. “It’s a great reason to be with your gay brothers and sisters and straight people too, your allies. That’s mostly it, celebrating with being with friends.”

Despite all the happiness that comes from Pride, last year’s incident at the Pulse, a mass shooting in a gay club resulting in 49 deaths, did seem to affect the atmosphere.

“Last year I think there was a little paranoia and concern at the parade because it was still really, really fresh,” Procopio said. “That some other sick idiots gonna try to pull something like that in San Francisco. I think there might’ve been a bit of caution. I don’t know statistically the amount but I remember thinking of it because I was very aware of my surroundings. So yeah it did affect things.”

However, other attendees saw no difference in the atmosphere the celebration last year.

“Maybe there is a little bit of fear because of it, but I don’t think it’s gonna put much of a damper on things. ‘Cause, well, last Pride happened maybe about a week after the Orlando shootings and Pride was just as amazing as I thought it would be,” Levinthal said. “It was fantastic. So I think this year’s gonna be just as good, if not better.”

Along with the difficulties that last year’s shooting brought forth, there are still issues of discrimination against LGBTQ people. However, many feel hopeful about future.  

“At this time I think it is possible for things to change, but, like, I don’t know ‘cause it’s gonna be hard, maybe,” Chandler Young, a gay sophomore, said. “Cause there’s new Trump Administration now and whatever and that’s kinda bad , but you know what, I’m still hopeful and there’s still hope and whatever so i think that good things could happen.”

While some people see hope on the horizon, others are reminded of the struggles they have previously gone through to get to where they are today.

“I am pleased with how much progress we have made in my lifetime,” said Procopio. “I’d never thought I’d be able to legally marry someone if I so choose. I never thought that was going to happen. You know to come from a time growing up in the 70s where there weren’t many role models compared to today, where there’s a lot of visible gays and lesbians in the country. And that is fantastic. I think we have made a lot of strides. However am I proud of my country? I think there’s still a long way to go. For example, there’s a bathroom law in North Carolina, that’s ridiculous. Things like that are still happening. There’s anti-LGBT in the books for several states trying to nullify the Supreme Court decision for marriage equality. There are many states, mainly the south and Midwest, where attacks against our community are not classified as hate crimes. And there are several states, pretty much the same states, that don’t have employment protection on gender identity and sexual orientation. There’s a long road ahead, marriage equality isn’t the end. There’s a lot we still need to do. So, no I’m not exactly proud of the country as a whole in respect to gay rights. Not at all.”

Despite the problems, discrimination, and inequality that has been set forth in the past and still occurring in the present, people are still looking forward to Pride and the ability to celebrate being open, proud, and happy for who they are.