Pride Month

Emily Gott, Staff Writer

Every June, Pride Month is celebrated. June is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community all around the world through a series of organized activities, including film festivals, art exhibits, marches, concerts, etc. Pride Month is about educating people about Pride history and raising awareness of inequality and violence towards the LGBTQ+ community and moving forward in equality.

Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a benchmark event for LGBTQ+ history that laid the foundation for Pride. During the late 1960s, being openly gay was prohibited in most places. New York had a rule that the presence of someone gay or questioning their gender counted as disorderly conduct, which outlawed gay bars. On June 28th, 1969, patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a popular LGBTQ+ bar, stood their ground after police raided the property. This resulted in days of riots and protests known as the Stonewall Uprising. One year after the Stonewall Uprising, the first Pride march was held with Christopher Street Liberation Day. A year later, cities around the US and the world held their own pride parades, from Boston to London.

The Symbol for the LGBTQ+ community is a rainbow flag. In 1978, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to office in California, asked Gilbert Baker to create a symbol for the LGBTQ+ community. He originally created 2 multi-colored flags with 8 colors, but then were narrowed down to 6. The six colors on the flag: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple all have their own meanings. Red is symbolic of life. Orange is symbolic of healing. Yellow is symbolic of sunlight. Green is symbolic of nature. Blue is symbolic of harmony, while purple means spirit.

Even if you are or are not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there are many ways you can be supportive of members of the community. Whenever you are listening to people’s stories or sharing your own story, having conversations is a great way to raise awareness, and spark larger discussions and actions. Learning to be a better ally requires you to do your research such as educating yourself on politics and removing harmful words from your vocabulary. There are many organizations you can donate to such as the Human Rights Campaign and Anti-Violence Project. You could get involved with the Trevor Project and help counsel LGBTQ+ youth, and support LGBTQ+ business owners, writers, and artists. Some of my personal favorite LGBTQ+ books are Red, White, and Royal Blue, Just Kiss Her Once for Me, and the Charm Offensive.

Pride Month is an important month for people of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s a time to embrace, celebrate, and honor the diversity of humans. A time to celebrate how far the community has come in fostering equality and acceptance, as well as a time to shine a light on how much work needs to be done, and what needs to be improved. Unfortunately, people in the LGBTQ+ community have been attacked and discriminated against to the point where many have been forced to hide from their loved ones. Pride gives people a chance to feel accepted for who they are, and that we are all beautiful human beings. The LGBTQ+ community deserves to feel accepted and loved, not just during June, but every day of the year. 😊