Pride Month Is Here!


Photo courtesy of WikiCommons

The Pride Flag, composed of all the colors of the rainbow, is a symbol of overcoming fear and hate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Adviser’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this opinion article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the view of The Colt Chronicle Staff, Kinnelon High School, or its students and staff members. 

“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, [and love] cannot be killed or swept aside” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Awards 2016.


June, the month of LGBTQ+ pride, of the LGBTQ+ community (and allies) taking an unapologetically prideful stance against the discrimination, hate, and violence their community has received for so long, and of everyone from all walks of life, sexualities, and gender identities coming together and celebrating as a united force. The staples of pride month are the pride festivals that take place, which promote self-affirmation, dignity, and LGBTQ+ equality rights while celebrating gender variance and sexual diversity.


Senior Kendal Simmons, creator and leader of the Gay-Straight Alliance, a club dedicated to providing a place where LGBTQ+ students and allies can work together to create a more inclusive school environment, says, “Pride allows people to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, letting them  grow past any fear of judgment.”


While all the over-the-top sparkles, glitter, music, and rainbows are extravagant, the LGBTQ+ community wasn’t always this open and free to express themselves. The history of oppression, discrimination, and hate against the LGBTQ+ community worldwide are vast. In fact, it wasn’t until 2015 that LGBTQ+ marriage in America became legal nationwide and protected by the Constitution, and even then those who identify themselves as LGBTQ+ were still discriminated against. Between Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” Mississippi’s anti-LGBTQ+ HB 1523 law, and the future anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, the LGBTQ+ community and the allies are far from done in the fight to equality and acceptance.


After all, according to the Constitution of the United States, freedom of speech, which is the right of expression without fear of punishment or retaliation, is not only a government-granted and protected right, but a natural, human right. Yet, the LGBTQ+ community has continuously been denied throughout history of this sacred human right, and while America is better off in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, LGBTQ+ people in other countries aren’t as lucky. In countries like Brunei, Azerbaijan, Iran, and many more, those who are even thought to be LGBTQ+ can be publicly stoned to death or beheaded, with Brunei planning to introduce new, harsher anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, [and love] cannot be killed or swept aside.””

— Lin-Manuel Miranda

So, while pride month may be coming up, don’t get too caught up in celebrating quite yet, as 73 countries still ban LGBTQ+ relationships and people, with death and persecution often being the verdict for them. After all, no one in the LGBTQ+ community, including allies, can be truly free to express themselves if everyone who is LGBTQ+ does not have that same right. Most importantly, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality across the world cannot- and will not- end here, so go out and celebrate but don’t forget the others, and fight for them, too.


Simmons concludes with, “The LGBT+ community has moved mountains over the last few decades. The situation here in America is much better than in other countries, considering that it’s still illegal to live and love freely in certain places. That being said, one universal setback seems to be that people are taught to fear who they are, learning to hide rather than embrace themselves.”


And as Lin put it spectacularly, “Fill the world with music, love, and pride.”