Pride Month: Everything to know about the LGBTQ+ community recognition
- The LGBTQ rights movement started June 1969 in New York City's Greenwich Village
- Police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar
- The incident led to riots that went on for five days
Pride Month, which commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, is marked in June.
The principal components include colorful uplifting parades with floats and celebrities, joyous festivals, workshops, picnics, and parties.
The event that catalyzed the LGBTQ rights movement came in June 1969 in New York City's Greenwich Village, at the Stonewall Inn.
Police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Raids were common at such bars. While in the previous times, crowds outside watched in silence, this time they decided to protest.
They jeered the police and threw coins and then bottles at them, forcing the officers to barricade themselves in the bar to await backup. Not before long, some 400 people were rioting. The riots continued for the next five days, igniting the spark for the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States.
Transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson was one of the most prominent protestors “on the front lines” during the Stonewall Uprising.
On June 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, activists in New York City held the very first Christopher Street Liberation Day March, which is known today as the Pride March.
According to the Library of Congress, the march aimed to "commemorate the Christopher Street Uprisings of last summer in which thousands of homosexuals went to the streets to demonstrate against centuries of abuse ... from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-homosexual laws."
On Oct. 13, 1979, the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was held in D.C. This fell 10 years after the Stonewall Riots, and about a year after the assassination of gay politician Harvey Milk.
The movement was officially recognized by the US government when President Bill Clinton declared June 1999 “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month,” President Barack Obama proclaimed June to be “LGBT Pride Month,” and President Joe Biden further expanded the observance to “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month.” In other parts of the world, Pride is celebrated at different times of the year, although many countries observe it in June along with the US.