On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn— a gay nightclub in New York. What followed was a six-day protest lead by Marsha P. Johnson, where members of the LGBT+ community demanded the right to be open about their sexual orientation without the fear of being arrested.
A year after the Stonewall Riots, Brenda Howard organized Gay Pride Week— what is now widely recognized as the New York City Pride March. Howard sparked the start of a movement and for the years that followed there were similar marches and parades across the United States and even the world.
With hundreds of parades, organizers were ecstatic when Harvey Milk’s designer friend, Gilbert Baker, created the LGBT+ rainbow flag in 1978—becoming an all-encompassing symbol for the community.
To this day, the New York City Pride Parade is the one of the largest, with over 2 million people attending in 2019.
Celebrating Pride Month is full of parades, parties, rainbows, costumes, good times and glitter – the LGBT+ community can be wonderfully loud and proud in celebration! But let us not forgot the reason for the party. The parade signifies the right to sexual diversity, an important right because we should all feel the acceptance to be who we are. Along with the celebrations, we cannot forget to commemorate those who may have lost their lives, suffered hate crimes and battle mental health issues.
As we wrap up the end of June, we are reflecting on all we have accomplished in the fight for freedom and equality in recent years – though we still have much more work to do. Let us keep fighting for one another and the liberties we hold so dear.
Love is Love. Happy Pride Month and Happy Pride Day!