Pride Month

  Taking place every June, Pride Month celebrates the self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The month-long celebration was given the name “Pride” to encourage those feelings as the community comes together to celebrate and bolster LGBTQ+ rights movements.   How It Started June 28, 1969 marks the […]

Pride Month

 

Taking place every June, Pride Month celebrates the self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The month-long celebration was given the name “Pride” to encourage those feelings as the community comes together to celebrate and bolster LGBTQ+ rights movements.

 

How It Started

June 28, 1969 marks the start of the Stonewall riots in which the queer community responded to a police raid that began at the Stonewall Inn, a bar located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, that served as a safe haven for the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community.

At the time, homosexual acts were deemed illegal in almost every state, and bars and restaurants faced getting shut down for having gay employees or serving gay patrons. While police had raided gay establishments before, on that particular night, members of the LGBTQ community decided to fight back, sparking an uprising that would launch a new era of resistance that would later turn into a celebration.

Mark Segal was one of the many LGBTQ people outside Stonewall Inn, where a stand was being taken against the latest police raid of one of the community’s few safe spaces to gather in New York City. Transgender woman and activist Marsha P. Johnson picked up the first brick thrown in rage, kicking off the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

“That night in June of 1969, we felt rage at the police,” Segal told ET’s Denny Directo, as Pride has become a stark reminder that these modern-day celebrations once started as a protest.

“We were enraged because, in a sense, 2,000 years of repression built up in us. And the New York City Police Department that night, when they violently came into Stonewall and beat people up against the wall and extorted money from people, got us angry,” Segal continued.

“And it was that night that we said to the police, ‘We are taking our street back. This is our neighborhood. You are no longer going to control us. You’re no longer going to dominate us. We’re going to create our identity. We’re going to create a community where you wouldn’t allow us to have community,’” Segal said.

 

Why June?

On June 28, 1970, on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the first Pride parade set off from Stonewall. Gay activists in New York organized the Christopher Street Liberation March to cap off the city’s first Pride Week. Several hundred people started marching up 6th Avenue, toward Central Park. The parade eventually stretched 15 city blocks and encompassed thousands of supporters.

 

Origins of the Rainbow Flag

The rainbow flag was popularized as a symbol of the gay community by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The colors have meaning and also reflect the diversity of the LGBT community and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender. There are several other flags in the LGBTQ+ community, including the transgender flag, and pansexual flag…

 

 

HERSTORY Makes History 01, June 2022