<aside> 🌈 Pride’s core tenets are: People, Resilience, Information, Diversity and Expression.
June is Pride Month, which is an important occasion for both the LGBTQIA+ and ally community to celebrate the history of Pride throughout the world. LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual. There are other variations to this acronym but you do not have to fall into one of these categories to celebrate Pride. Pride can be celebrated by all, even if you identify as straight or if you are not sure how you identify at all!
Although we are leaning on Pride Month in June to celebrate, educate and raise awareness, support for the LGBTQIA+ community is not a trend. It is important for all of us to be inclusive, and to show support and allyship for the community all year round. It is also important that we recognize and call out “pink-washing” in which companies and the services we each use on a daily basis use the month of June to undertake image maintenance. They may not have any diversity and inclusion programs or be supportive of the community at other times, or even actively support anti-LGBTQ legislation, or individuals- but in June they change their corporate logo to have rainbow colors. We need transformational, not transactional support.
However you may identify, take some time to learn more about what Pride means and to exercise more inclusion, support, and acceptance of all people, no matter their color, sexual orientation, or identity in your everyday life.
Pride has a long and rich history. Pride Month was created to honor the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan, the United States. The riots began on June 28th in 1969 when the New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a queer club located in New York City. This riot was led and organized predominantly by transgender activists and drag queens and lasted six days. The Stonewall Riots made it clear that the LGBTQIA+ community needed to be loud and visible to demand change.
After the riots, activists proposed a resolution that a march be held in New York City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the raid. The first Pride parade was held in 1970 on the anniversary and it is arguably the birth of the modern LGBTQIA+ movement towards acceptance and equal rights. The first few marches drew a few hundred people. Today, Pride parades can include hundreds of thousands of people.
Did you know that there are many different Pride Flags? Back in 1978, the artist Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man and a drag queen designed the first rainbow flag. It looks very similar but slightly different from the well-recognised rainbow flag that we often see today of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple (each color with its own meaning, see below image). Over the decades, many variations are created to recognize the true diversity of the people within the Pride community.
Below is one such flag called the Progress Pride Flag which draws inspiration from many other Pride flags. This Queer In The World’s article offers insight about 50 different LGBTQ flags and their meanings!
Pride is not just about the progress that’s been made since the Stonewall Riots, it’s just as crucial to acknowledge how far we must still go as a society to advocate for full LGBTQIA+ equality and acceptance against discrimination, stigma, and violence.