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The History of Pride Month

The History of Pride Month

June is an exciting month for various individuals in the United States. To the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, it remains to be one of their special months. Commonly known as Pride Month, June is a month where the LGBT community members within the country come together to celebrate diversity, acceptance, love, and unabashed self-pride.

Since 1970, Pride Month has been celebrated to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, where police raided the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. Parades, events, and festivities have been thrown to honor the voices and experiences of members of the LGBTQ community as well as to highlight the problems faced by the members of the community.

But how exactly did the last half-century of Pride month become what it is today, and how can you best celebrate it? This post takes you on a tour of the last 5 or so decades of Pride Month, including how, why, and when it began, how it has grown, and what its future looks like.

What is Gay Pride and what is the Significance of the Pride Month?

According to the Oxford Languages dictionary, Pride is the self-respect, confidence and unanimity as shown by LGBT community members, associated with openness about one’s sexual identity, and the celebration of the history and culture of LGBT members. Being open about one’s sexual identity is crucial mainly because of the persecution the LGBT community members have faced throughout history.

Pride Month is a month that is meant to recognize the influence that the members of the LGBT community have on the history of the US and other nations across the world. Usually held in June, Pride Month involves celebrating one’s sexuality, but also highlights some challenges that gay people still face.

What is the Pride Symbol?

Each of the colors of the LGBT flag has a meaning as shown below:

• Red represents life

• Orange represents healing

• Yellow stands for sunlight

• Green is for nature

• Blue represents harmony

• Violet stands for spirit

The rainbow flag is used as the Pride Symbol for LGBT community members. Created by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the symbol is used to represent the diversity of identities within the LGBT community. The symbol stresses the importance of recognizing and involving everyone in the community, regardless of their identities.

Over the years, more Pride symbols have been created and others redesigned. In 2017, for instance, Philadelphia redesigned the Pride symbol to include both brown and black colors. This move was meant to promote inclusion and diversity within the community. The black color, for example, represents the black members of the community. Also, Emily Gwen created the Lesbian Flag in 2018, which features shades of purple, pink, and orange.

How did Pride Month Begin?

The pride marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots which happened on June 28, 1969. Commonly known as the Stonewall Uprising, the riots began after policemen invaded a gay club in the Greenwich Village. The majority of individuals at Stonewall were either gay men of color or drag queens. In those days, disguising oneself as a member of the LGBT community was a crime in New York City. The invasion by the police sparked gay rights movements that grew year after year. About 51 years later, the month of June is celebrated in most American cities and abroad.

Estimates indicate that three to five thousand individuals marched together in the 1970 pride march held on June 28, 1970. Today, marchers in New York City turns up in millions to commemorate the day. Two of the individuals that go down as the heroes of the Uprising riots are activist Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Johnson is said to be the first person to throw the brick that sparked the riot, while the latter fought for transgender rights alongside Johnson.

In 2015, New York City declared the Stonewall Inn as a historic landmark and was later recognized as a US national monument by the then-president Barrack Obama.

How to Celebrate Pride Month Today?

For years, the LGBT Pride Month events, festivities, and parades have been celebrated by millions of individuals across the world. Usually, there are month-long events, gatherings, and celebrations held across the US, including the pride marches, parades, workshops, and concerts. Also, LGBT community members who have lost their loved ones through HIV/AIDS or hate crimes hold memorials within the month.

Throughout the month, the LGBT rainbow flag is displayed in most parts of the country and overseas. The rainbow flag remains a powerful and iconic symbol of the pride of the LGBT community members. World’s largest Pride marches are held in New York, San Francisco in the U.S, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Madrid in Spain, London in the U.K, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In 2020, most individuals celebrated Pride month virtually mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, however, Pride Month celebrations will be different. For instance, Atlanta’s Pride Run is set for June 20, 2021. San Francisco will also hold a Pride Movie Night on June 11 and 12.

Who Started the Pride Month Celebrations?

Brenda Howard, who organized the first LGBTQ Pride march, goes down in history as the Mother of Pride. Brenda also came up with the idea for a week-long series of events around the Pride march, which gave birth to the annual LGBTQ Pride celebrations.

What are some other facts about the History of Pride Month?

There is more to LGBT Pride history that most people don’t know, partly because so much happened in secret or that it was not covered in school. Below is a list of these facts;

• Not all Pride Marches, Events, and Parades are Held in June

• Bill Clinton was the First President to Officially Recognize Pride Month

• Francisco held its first Trans March in 2004

• Chicago was the First City in the U.S to Hold the First Gay Pride

• There were other LGBT Riots before the Stonewall Uprising

Facts to remember

Not all Pride Marches, Events, and Parades are Held in June

• Bill Clinton was the First President to Officially Recognize Pride Month

• Francisco held its first Trans March in 2004

• Chicago was the First City in the U.S to Hold the First Gay Pride

• There were other LGBT Riots before the Stonewall Uprising

• First Pride Month was celebrated in 1970

• Pride Month is celebrated in June

• Pride Month honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising

• The first Pride march is estimated to have had 3 to 5 thousand people

• Stonewall Uprising began after policemen invaded a gay club

• Pride Month is celebrated to embrace diversity, acceptance, love, and unabashed self-pride

• Designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, the rainbow flag is used as the Pride Symbol

• Bill Clinton was the First President to Officially Recognize Pride Month

• President Obama recognized Stonewall Inn as a US national monument

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