While different Pride celebrations take place throughout the year, June is the official month of LGBTQ+ Pride! This week's Sex Stories We Love dives deep into some of the meatier issues to get to the bare truth. Just like Pride!

Why Pride?

Even if you've never been to a Pride event, you've possibly seen the footage on TV. Colorful, extravagant, beautiful people having a great time. Rainbow flags everywhere and happy smiles. That is the face of the celebration. What about the rest of the year? Much as been made of the advancements of the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. And, damn right, these things should be recognized and cheered. There is still so much to do, and Pride events should be recognized. After all, queer people are still criminals in so many countries. Trans women are being murdered. Fully reasonable rights and basic humanity are the still denied to people under the rainbow flag. So, yes, we take a week here and there across the world and get together for a good time. It is also a time of remembrance and community support. Everyone needs an opportunity to let loose a bit in the face of continued pain - all the while recharging our batteries to continue the struggle.

Understanding the Rainbow

Straight, cis people are a big part of Pride. No, the event is not produced for them. However, Pride can be a huge influence in providing necessary education to them. In bigger cities around the world, straight folks flock to Pride. Some are there to be good allies. Others are just there for a party. Either way, here's hoping they respect the space they are in and take the time to learn about our diverse sexual and gender spectrum, our different pronouns, and how to be a good ally, both during Pride and all year long. The case can also be made that people from across the LGBTQ+ community should take the occasional refresher course in these topics. Our world is constantly evolving and we all need to keep up with the different members of our big, queer family tree.

Fly the Flag

The rainbow flag is an internationally-recognized symbol of the LGTBQ+ community. In 1978, Gilbert Bake and friends created, what eventually became, the very common six-striped rainbow flag. Based on specific aspects of color therapy, this symbol was also meant to replace the pink triangle used to identify homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps. As with identity and language, the rainbow flag has evolved, and some folks seem to express a more specific community solidarity. So, different flags have emerged to speak to these different needs and desires! Recently, there's been a bit of a flag flap over a true redesign of the traditional Pride flag seeks to incorporate inclusiveness of specific people. What do you think of the new Pride flag design? Will it fly?

Around the World

I used to live blocks away from one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world. Toronto Pride can draw close to a million people to the parade alone. It is a spectacle, an event, a complete and total happening. I have to say, though, that I felt more connected to my community and to those celebrating when I've travelled outside the city to smaller Pride events. There are now so many! Over the 20+ years that I've celebrated, I've seen an explosion of communities around the world acknowledging and claiming space for LGBTQ+ people. It isn't always easy, and danger still exists. Yet, Pride is happening in so many places - even some of the most remote locations on the planet!

The Business of Pride

A significant criticism of the current Pride movement is the corporatization of Pride. If you travel to some of the bigger events, you'll see corporate logos splashed on everything. The situation is a double-edged rainbow. The money to put these events on - big or small - has to come from somewhere. Grassroots fundraising can be a challenging, full-time job for numerous people. At the same time, some folks see the corporate takeover as diluting the meaning of the event. If you find yourself in this conundrum, and want to support some LGBTQ+ businesses while still having fun at Pride, check out these sexy offerings.

Bootyshakers!

Finally, are you looking to spruce up your super gay time with some tunes? Check out some of the hottest, gayest music around! While this list will speak to the dude-on-dude crowd, can anybody share any other lists that speak to a wider queer audience?