Pride month + how to be an ally.
June is Pride Month, and it’s dedicated to celebrating and commemorating LGBTQ+ culture and activism around the world, as well as honouring the Stonewall riots which took place in Manhattan in 1969. In the early hours of June 28th that year, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City’s West Village. While this was, unfortunately, a regular occurrence for the community, this time, they fought back, and it turned into a riot that would change the course of history.
The riot lasted for six days, and it was incredibly instrumental in changing gay rights not just in America, but across the globe. In short, Pride helps recognise just how far LGBTQ+ rights have come since then, as well as acknowledging how there is still work to be done in some places.
Here at Minty Digital, we are allies, and we want to shed some light on the part celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and part political activism that Pride encompasses.
Pride in Barcelona
We’re a Barcelona-based SEO and Digital PR company, and we’ve got two incredible office spaces in our adopted city. One’s got a pool, and one is right on the beach (dreamy, we know).
But it’s not just the fact we can top up our tans all year round, or that tapas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a rite of passage, it’s that Barcelona is one of the most inclusive cities on the planet, and it’s a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community.
These days, people from all over the world come to visit Barcelona. Fans of Catalonia’s capital city for its cuisine and gothic architecture just as much as its acceptance and inclusion, Barcelona is a top destination for both its LGBTQ+ residents and its visitors.
But it hasn’t always been this way, and Barcelona’s LGBTQ+ community have had to fight to be able to create such a diverse and open city. During the mid-20th century under the Franco regime, prosecution, persecution and imprisonment were the reality for much of the LGBTQ+ community. Just like in Manhattan, there were police raids and violence, but change was coming.
In 1977, Barcelona held its first Pride parade in the heart of the city – Las Ramblas. While around 4,000 people were present for the celebration, it wasn’t long until they were dispersed by the police and the local government banned them from organising future events.
Did that stop the demands for change? Absolutely not. Fighting against the anti-homosexual laws, they demanded that LGBTQ+ organisations were to be legally recognised, and now in the 21st century, Barcelona is one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world.
Being gay in Barcelona today is obviously very different to how it was back then, and it’s thanks to the community’s predecessors for never giving up on equality. While the whole city couldn’t be any more inclusive, there are certain areas that have become a hotspot for Barcelona’s gay scene. For example, the Eixample district is one of the beating hearts of the LGBTQ+ scene. Filled with gay-friendly bars, restaurants, cafes and shops, it’s one of the many lively, vibrant and cosmopolitan areas in the city.
What was the change?
In 2014, the Catalan Parliament passed the Anti-Homophobia Act. It was a pioneering piece of legislation that was promoted by a huge number of LQBTQ+ associations and allies. While before then, the city has been a dream destination for the queer scene, this act solidified progression and the fact that the LGBTQ+ community were safe in Barcelona.
And to this day, the countless associations that work daily to promote equal rights are what make the city such a safe space. It means residents and visitors from all over the world can feel comfortable, happy, and free from harm.
How to Be an Ally
There are many ways you can support LGBTQ+ people, whether they’re in your life or not. There’s also no one-size-fits-all answer, either. If you want to be the best ally you can be, here are some of the easiest ways to do so:
- Create social settings where your straight, cisgender, and LGBTQ+ family and friends are integrated.
- Be open and honest with your LGBTQ+ friends and family about their life.
- Be sure to include the S/O of your LGBTQ+ friends and family.
- If you hear someone make a homophobic joke or comment, call it out and explain why it’s harmful.
- Use inclusive and LGBTQ+-friendly language and integrate it into your daily conversations.
- Involve yourself with pro-LGBTQ+ groups and campaigns.
- Join pro-LGBTQ+ groups and causes on social media.
- Attend Pride celebrations and other LGBTQ+ community events.
- Add your pronouns to social media profiles, your email signature, or when introducing yourself to new people.
These are some of the simplest ways to show your support. Even if you do not identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, everyone should be making a conscious effort to promote diversity, inclusivity, and acceptance.
Proud of our LGBTQ+ Team Members
Here at Minty, we are so proud to work alongside our LGBTQ+ team members. As a company that embraces progression, openness, freedom, and above all, happiness, we’re thrilled to be able to offer all of our staff members a safe space and environment to be themselves, and we love nothing more than watching our team flourish both professionally and personally.
Rubén Cañadilla, a member of our outreach team honestly expressed what Pride Month means to him:
“As part of the LGBTIQ+ community, I too have suffered verbal and physical violence. We are constantly subjected to homophobic and transphobic comments and attitudes, as we continue to live in a society that punishes any behavior that falls outside the so called “THE NORM”.
“For this reason, Pride month is essential. Not only to celebrate ourselves as free and diverse people, but also to shout to the world that we are still alive and that they will not be able to stop us. Now more than ever, in a turbulent world in which they try to jeopardise our rights, it is important to claim our existence and our position in all areas of our lives, especially in those that correspond to our public activity. Because our orientation and our identity must also be political.
“I am very proud to work in a company that does not use pink washing as a one-off strategy without any underlying motive, but encourages and welcomes our community every day of the year and does not tolerate homophobic or transphobic attitudes or comments. But this should not be the exception, but THE NORM.
Barcelona is a city that, in general, welcomes and respects us. Because we are also Barcelona. It has been 45 years since the first LGBTIQ+ demonstration on Las Ramblas. I only have words of gratitude for those comrades who did the impossible at a very difficult time. As they cried out back then: “Nosaltres no tenim por. Nosaltres som” (“We don’t have fear. We are”).”
At Minty, looking out for one another is our number one priority. And whether we’re in Barcelona, the UK, or anywhere else in the world, the safety and happiness of our team is the most important thing. Happy Pride Month!