Pride Month is considered to be an important holiday, one that details the history of the LGBT community finding acceptance in the world. While it’s more widely accepted today than ever before, history is able to tell long stories of why this was not the case for a very long time. Pride Month is a time for each individual to be proud of who they are and the unique offerings they have to bring to the world. So, read on to learn about the LGBTQ+ community and how just about anyone who wants to can find a variety of ways to enjoy and celebrate Pride Month.
History of Pride Month
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, or just Pride Month for short, is an holiday that is celebrated each year in the month of June. This special time was intentionally set in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1968 in Manhattan, New York in the US. While during the 1950’s and 60’s, the concept of being gay was not often spoken of or publicly expressed due to the pressure of American society and the social norms that viewed being gay as a taboo and a mental disorder, there was a population of people who did not believe in oppressing these rights. And they stood against the government because of it.
At the tip of the iceberg, when the Stonewall Inn located in New York City started being raided by police because it was a gay bar, people started retaliating against police in defense of the gay bar and their believed right to be gay in the world. This is an example of a grass roots uprising that took place over the length of 6 days and was the beginning of many people, who had previously been quiet, starting to stand up for their cause.
Support for LGBTQ+ pride has since been growing steadily over the past few decades, even when the LGBTQ+ lifestyle was considered taboo during the 1970’s and 80’s. As more people started backing up the movement and people started understanding what being gay meant, Pride Month then started becoming a more popular concept during the 1990’s and 2000’s.
Multiple holidays arose out of the LGBTQ+ movement, and Pride Month has become one of the biggest celebrations all over the United States, with its main center of action in New York City. In NYC, parades would commence along the streets and people would dress up in their most colorful and prideful outfits and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community for everyone to see. The celebration also occurs in other parts of the world who join in solidarity with the cause of freedom and rights for all.
Pride Month Timeline
First Gay Rights Group is Established
Founded by World War I veteran, Henry Gerber, the Society for Human Rights in Chicago, which produced the first gay rights publication in the United States.
Stonewall Riots take place
When the New York City police raid a gay club in Greenwich Village called Stonewall Inn, a riot breaks out in the surrounding neighborhoods and the protests last for six days.
First Pride Parade occurs
On June 28 of this year, the first Pride Parade is called the “Gay Liberation March” and takes place on the streets of New York City in the USA. The date is set on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
LGBT History Month is recognized in October
Since the Stonewall Riots, June is considered a month for demonstrating in support of gay rights, but this year a coalition of education-based organizations declare October to be Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transexual History Month.
Bill Clinton recognizes Gay & Lesbian Pride Month
This is the first time the federal government officially recognizes June to observe and celebrate what will become LGBT Pride Month ten years later, and LGBTQ month 22 years later.
How to Celebrate Pride Month
Certainly it’s possible to find many ways to celebrate Pride Month! Whether just looking for something simple or hoping to go beyond into something extravagant, there’s all kinds of room for observing Pride Month. Take a look at some of these ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
Join in on a Pride Month Celebration
Many people feel that Pride Month is the time to express themselves, so get a little bit wild, don some rainbow garb, and enjoy the celebration. Different communities all over the place will schedule events and gatherings throughout the month of June, including parades, demonstrations, rallys and more.
Host an Event
Maybe there are no organized events locally that seem attractive on a certain day, but that’s okay! Perhaps this is the right time to gather a few friends and organize an event in the area. Try hosting a block party with all sorts of activities, games, t-shirt decorating contests and, of course, food. Don’t forget to decorate the location with rainbow themed streamers, flags and balloons!
Get Educated About Pride Month
One important way to celebrate Pride Month is to learn more about this history of the LGBTQ+ movement. Take a look at these interesting facts that might be good reminders of how far the world has come in accepting everyone:
- The designer of the rainbow flag that represents the LGBTQ movement was Gilbert Baker, and the flag was first created in 1978. Seeing it as a symbol for anyone involved in Pride, he decided not to trademark the flag.
- Henry Gerber was the founder of the first gay rights organization in the United States, called “The Society of Human Rights”, in 1924. He was arrested in 1925 and the organization folded out of a lack of resources.
- Bill Clinton was the first sitting US President to recognize Pride Month. Prior to 1999, it was a grass-roots event that was not recognized by the US government.
- Originally used by Nazis to shame homosexual men in concentration camps, the Pink Triangle (with the point at the bottom) was reclaimed for LGBTQ Pride.
Attend a Pride Month Memorial Service
Many people use Pride Month as an opportunity to celebrate the lives of people whose lives were lost to HIV/AIDS or to hate crimes. These types of gatherings often take place at important monuments around the world, including:
- The Stonewall Inn/Gay Liberation Monument in Greenwich Village, New York City
- The Pink Triangle Monument in Tel Aviv, Israel
- Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial in Sydney, Australia
- The Alan Turing Memorial, Manchester, England
Show Appreciation to Others
Whether you’re a person who lives an LGBTQ+ lifestyle, or you simply want to be supportive, this is a great time to be reminded to find people who love you for you and let them know how much it means. Send some cards or thank you notes to people who have been caring and make the most out of the time by building stronger relationships.
Learn the History of Pride Month
This month is about confidence, and that is why this is the time to learn about the history of the LGBTQ+ community and be part of the celebration. Join the local LGBT community, buy tickets to the NYC Pride Month parade, or just share on social media while supporting the LGBT community.
Pride Month FAQs
Who can celebrate Pride Month?
Anyone who wants to encourage or support the effort to raise awareness for the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community is invited to observe and celebrate Pride Month.
When did Pride Month officially start?
Pride Month was first officially recognized by the US federal government in 1999 when US President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month”.
How is Pride Month celebrated?
Pride events can go on all during the month in June in various communities, with activities including parades, shows, demonstrations, dance parties, festivals and community days.
Why is Pride Month celebrated in June?
June has been declared Pride Month because of the connection to the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City on June 28, 1969.
What countries celebrate Pride Month?
Pride Month is an international observance that takes place in many countries throughout the world, including UK, United States, Canada, Spain, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and many more.