June is pride month when the LGBT communities around the world come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.
Pride rallies are rooted in the difficult history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are.
The first organizers chose this month to pay tribute to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement. Most pride events take place each year in June, although some cities hold their celebrations at other times of the year.
Who celebrates it?
Pride events are for anyone who feels their gender identity is outside the mainstream – although many heterosexual people participate in them as well.
LGBT is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. The term is sometimes extended to LGBTQ, or even LGBTQIA, to include queer, intersex, and asexual groups. Queer is an umbrella term for non-heterosexual people; intersex refers to people whose sex is not clearly defined due to genetic, hormonal or biological differences; and asexual describes those who do not experience sexual attraction.
These terms can also include people with a fluid gender or those whose gender identity changes over time or depending on the situation.
How did it start?
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York, and began dragging customers outside. Tensions quickly escalated as clients resisted arrest and a growing crowd of passers-by threw bottles and coins at officers. New York’s gay community, tired after years of harassment by authorities, erupted into neighborhood riots that lasted for three days.
The uprising became a catalyst for an emerging gay rights movement when organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance were formed, modeled on the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement. Members staged protests, met with political leaders and interrupted public meetings to hold those leaders to account. A year after the Stonewall riots, the country’s first Gay Pride marches have taken place.
In 2016, the area around the Stonewall Inn, still a popular nightclub today, was designated a National Monument.
Where does the name Pride come from?
It was thanks to Brenda Howard, a bisexual New York activist nicknamed the “Pride Mother,” who organized the first Pride Parade to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
What is the origin of the rainbow flag?
In 1978, artist and designer Gilbert Baker was commissioned by San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, one of America’s first openly gay elected officials, to make a flag for the upcoming pride celebrations. from the city. Baker, a prominent gay rights activist, winked at the stripes of the American flag but took inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the many groups within the gay community.
A subset of flags represent other sexualities on the spectrum, such as bisexual, pansexual, and asexual.
Can I participate in Pride events if I am not LGBT?
Sure. Pride events welcome allies from outside the LGBT community. These are opportunities to show support, to observe, to listen and to be educated.