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It's June, and we all know what that means.

First, us here at the UPR are finally done with this infernal semester and we'll enter some well-deserved summer vacations. Some of us are graduating. Simply stated, wonderful things are happening in June.

One of those wonderful things also happens to be Pride Month.

Pride Month happens every June. We celebrate and bring awareness to the LGBTQA+ community (and everyone else who happens to be on the spectrum!). Pride Month origginated in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan which were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Originally it was only the last Sunday of every June, but it has been changed to a month-long celebration. This includes pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and more LGBTQ+ Pride Month events that attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer folk, transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally and internationally.

Most people think that only people that are on the LGBTQ+ Spectrum are allowed to celebrate Pride Month and take part of the celebrations. That is not true, it is a month to celebrate that love comes in all forms and the more people that unite, the better. The purpose of Pride is not to cause discrimination and hate towards heterosexuals (obviously!), they are more than welcome to unite and become allies. Pride is just being proud of who you are, no matter where you fall on the spectrum. Just be happy and comfortable and surround yourself with love during this month. You don't have to be the cause to defend the cause.

Supporting and participating in Pride Month does not automatically mean that you are on the Spectrum. Being an ally means that you recognize that everyone deserves to be treated equally and be proud of who they are regardless of what everyone else thinks. So go out there and celebrate love!

Love is love, that's all it is and no one should be discriminated just because they are different from the “norm”. Pride is here to show us that; love is beautiful and all of its variations deserve to be celebrated.

Happy Pride and be proud of who you are!

Gabriela is currently an English Major at the University of Puerto Rico. When she isn't reading fantasy books, she can be found writing them. She is a Vegetarian Hufflepuff that loves zombie fiction, an irony in itself. An aspiring filmmaker, she one day dreams of winning an Oscar for her films.
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