Why Pride?

by OLY ARTS staff

Pride is a public experience that affirms the presence and reality of the people in our community who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or gender fluid (LGBTQ). In fact, claiming the identity of “pride” is a radical act that confronts the idea of shame. It is a positive stance toward inclusion and against discrimination. Pride is a celebration of individual and community identity designed to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increased visibility as a social group, community, and the celebration of sexual diversity and gender variance.

Capital City Pride has been celebrated for 26 years in Olympia.


Pride celebrations happen around the world. They span the spectrum from solemn to celebratory. In the United States, Pride takes place in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, a watershed moment in LGBTQ civil rights. The Stonewall actions were part of a long struggle toward affirmation of LGBTQ rights worldwide and decriminalization of sexual diversity in the United States.

Pride is also an affirmation of the continuing struggle for equal rights. In many regards, LGBTQ citizens are still second-class citizens. Marriage equality is under continuing threat in the United States. In 29 states, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay, lesbian or bisexual. In 32 states, the same acts remain legal against trans individuals. Pride is a time when LGBTQ and allies remember the past and seek a stronger, better future together.

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