“There is a tradition in the gay community, where every year there is a parade to celebrate gay pride. LGBT members of the community also celebrate this day. I was 15 when I came out and a friend of mine, who was also gay, told me that the parade was a way for members who had just come out to join the larger community. The parades are not only to celebrate how far gay-rights have come, but it is also a holiday for the gay community to celebrate each other and our community. I think that this is equivalent to many other religious holidays, because many people in the LGBT community have left their synagogues or churches, so it is a way to feel included with a cause.”
Although a gay pride parade might be seen as a simple tradition or ritual, David explains that it actually has much significance in the gay community. Many gay people undergo a liminal period when they first come out of the closet, and so the parade and the show of support helps bolster their new identity as a member of the gay community. This idea of ritual to mark the end of a liminal phase is used often in religious ceremonies or in life accomplishments (birth, death, etc.). And the ‘gay pride parade’ can be seen as not only a celebration, but as a necessary step for entering this new community.