June is recognized as PRIDE Month commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City on June 28, 1969. Most historians consider Stonewall to be the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement. During that time in our history, police raids on bars catering to LGBTQ patrons were common. On that night in 1969 the patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back. While historical accounts of the night vary, the violent clash ignited a national firestorm of activism – a firestorm that brought new visibility to the struggle for LGBTQ equality.
The early 1990’s saw the emergence of Black PRIDE events, including New York’s “PRIDE in the City” and Detroit’s “Hotter Than July.” Today these events are not held only in June. You can find related events scheduled throughout the year at The Center for Black Equity. In recent years, additional PRIDE events focusing on other people of color, specifically for the Latino/a community, occur in cities including Houston, New York City, Washington DC and Seattle.
Programs specifically for women often happen the day before or during the same weekend as other PRIDE events. While these grassroots celebrations usually focus on lesbians and transgender people, they are open to all, cater to multiple communities and usually include a rally and a march.
Youth and young adult PRIDE celebrations have gained popularity in recent years as well. These events are for young LGBTQ people, their families and straight allies. School organizations such as gay-straight alliances come together to celebrate the community and break down barriers to communication and understanding. Increasingly companies and corporations are open to employee resource groups (ERGs) and councils that give greater voice to the LGBTQ community.
And PRIDE is now an international movement. Though held throughout the year and around the globe, these observations are most popular in Canada, Latin America, Australia and throughout Europe.
A favorite quote from Dr. Laraine Kaminsky, “I’m not different from you, I’m different like you,” is a powerful reminder that regardless of how we identify, difference is something we all have in common. This is also true as we recognize and experience PRIDE month.
Watch for events in your region!