HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — "For me, Pride is a place where- an environment where people can come and be who they are and have no care, no doubt about whatever anybody else says," said Executive Director of Rocket City Pride, Brandon Edwards.
For many, it may seem like Pride is a fairly new concept but Pride actually dates back to the 1970s.
"This was born of a movement in a mafia-owned bar in New York City, where people had finally had enough of being harassed illegally, charged criminally, diagnosed with medical conditions and just... an opportunity to say we get to exist, we get to be happy," said Assistant Director of Rocket City Pride, Lori Ellison.
The first-ever Pride celebration took place on June 28, 1970, in New York.
A year after the incident Ellison mentioned named the Stonewall Uprising.
A movement that began due to police raiding the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons resulting in six days of protests and violent clashes between members of the LGBTQ+ and law enforcement.
"One of the key components of moving toward true equality is visibility. The more that we're out in the community, the more that people understand that we're just normal people. The farther we move toward that goal of true equity," said Ellison.
"I think as we have progressed as people, humans, the country, some parts of the country I'll say, we've just kind of honed in on who we are and how we want to be represented. Of course, you know, we still are looked at as a marginalized community which is totally fine. But I always say never underestimate the underdog," said Edwards.
Other than providing a space to be yourself, Pride also provides a safe environment to do so.
"At the end of the day, you're still a human being just like I am, and just because we may walk in different shoes or you know, lay with different people, or it's the same gender however, it's just a thing of- it's a matter of respect," said Edwards.
"It is important that we continue to do what we do until there's not a single kid sitting at home thinking that they're better off dead than being who they are," said Ellison.