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Revolutionary June

Revolutionary June

Alekk M. Saanders

Friday, 30 June 2023, 15:23

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June has become revolutionary again, and this time mostly thanks to the Baltic nations. On 20 June, Estonia legalised same-sex marriage. Under Soviet occupation, same-sex relations between men were criminalised in the country and did not become legal again until 1992, one year after independence.

Neighbouring Latvia made a revolutionary decision earlier in June. The country elected a new president, Edgars Rinkēvičs, who in 2014 announced himself as a homosexual. So... legalising same-sex marriages and an openly gay president prove that Estonia and Latvia are not only the most western-oriented countries of the former Soviet Union, but among the most open-minded in the European Union.

At the same time, Russia continues surprising everyone in the civilised world with its existential fight against the influence of Western liberal values. The country is known for being hostile to the gay community and on 14 June, the Russian lawmakers voted to ban legal and medical gender reassignment because it does not comply with its definition of 'family values'.

Spain realised that being gay is a part of modern family values a long time ago. The country legalised same-sex marriages in July 2005, and openly gay people have entered the government. Probably, that's why Pride festivals here are mostly about empathy and solidarity. Unsurprisingly, marches have transformed into parades, often highlighting supportive clubs and corporate sponsors.

Many LGBT activists worry about Pride's commercialisation. No surprise there. The question is, should we let the original intentions of the holiday's origin and its political legacy get completely diluted? This year, Torremolinos showed that its Pride festival has become a major event. On the Costa del Sol there are smaller Pride celebrations. One of the grassroots events in the province is the International LGBT Pride Day in Benamargosa.

For five years, this small village in Axarquía has been committed to a day in which gender diversity is publicly defended and supported, at the same time as equality between people.

By definition, June events are supposed to encourage everyone from the gay community to feel a little bit more proud of themselves. So celebrating at least once a year to focus more on LGBT activities, where's the harm in that? As for flamboyant parties and white-themed dinner gatherings at expensive restaurants... they can be organised any day, thereby making every month of the year a little bit revolutionary.

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