Commentary: June is Pride Month

  • Published
  • By Deirdre A. Briscoe
  • Tinker Pride Council

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the contributions and rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning community. Pride Month spans the entire month of June each year.

President Bill Clinton officially declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month on June 2, 2000. President Barack Obama expanded the observance to National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month June 1, 2009. Pride celebrations are held in cities throughout the country celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Celebrations range from picnics, festivals, parades, parties, workshops, and concerts.

Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club. This raid sparked an uprising against police by bar patrons and neighborhood residents. The uprising lasted six days and was the catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States. During the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations in 1969, a young activist called for nationwide demonstrations each June in honor of the events at Stonewall. New York held its first march a year after the uprising.

In years following the first Pride March in New York, more cities organized parades in support of gay rights. These highly visible opportunities allow people to express their sexuality and allow allies to have an opportunity to support the gay people in their lives.

As we usher in the month of June, please take a moment to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and become allies for their fight for equality, acceptance, and visibility.