We’ve all heard of the Pride Parade and have seen the rainbow flags flying high every June. But do you know where the parade came from? This quick article will take you through the origin story of the Gay Pride Parade.
How Did Pride Month Start?
To promote the diversity and inclusion that comes with Pride Month, you’ll want to understand where the holiday comes from.
If you’re already well-versed on the matter, then you can check out my fabulous list of Pride Month ideas for you and your company to celebrate this June.
For the rest of you lovely activists, let me start by telling a story.
The LGBTQ+ community was discriminated against and not even allowed to express affection in public by holding hands, kissing, or dancing with someone of the same sex.
The Stonewall Riots of 1969
It was the summer of love and America was going through a social revolution. Rock and roll music was on the rise, along with drug experimentation, and protests against the war in Vietnam.
Although America was going through changes, there was still a minority group that was not accepted in society. The LGBTQ+ community was discriminated against and not even allowed to express affection in public by holding hands, kissing, or dancing with someone of the same sex.
This reality made the Stonewall Inn a place of refuge for LGBTQ+ young adults. It was a bar in Greenwich Village and a safe place for people to let down their guard and be who they really are.
Here’s where everything flipped horribly sideways.
On June 28th, 1969, the police raided Stonewall Inn with arrest warrants. The New York City bar was caught off guard while police brutally roughed up the patrons and made arrests including people violating the anti-cross-dressing laws of the time.
That same day, a police officer striking a lesbian woman while forcing her into a cop car ignited 6 days of passionate protests known as the Stonewall Riots. It was unnecessary, brutal, and for no other reason than to punish people for being different.
So if you’re wondering why the LGBTQ+ community needs pride month? It’s to never repeat the terrible mistakes of the past.
A year later, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (or Stonewall Uprising), thousands of people marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park and America had its first Gay Pride Parade. The slogan? “Say it loud, gay is proud.”
So what will you or your company do to commemorate Stonewall and celebrate acceptance and freedom this June? Are you going to walk the Pride Perade and wave your rainbow flag in the crowd? Planning a big Pride Party during happy hour for the whole office?
Anything and everything you do to show support and spread the message of love is appreciated. We’ve come a long way and still have a long way to go to truly live in an inclusive and accepting world.