The Origins of PRIDE Month

Posted by on Jun 23, 2021 in Current Events

All around the world, June is celebrated as Pride Month. But how and when did this tradition begin? Pride Month remembers the history and achievements of the LGBTQ community. This week btw takes a closer look at the origins of Pride Month.

Stonewall

In the United States in the 1960s, there were no laws protecting gay or transgender people like there are today. There were no openly gay television stars or politicians. But in New York City, a club in Greenwich Village called the Stonewall Inn was a gathering place for the gay community. Stonewall had no running water and the windows were boarded up to keep people from seeing in. Because homosexuality was illegal at this time, the Stonewall was often raided by police. But it was common for the management to bribe police to get warnings about a raid. The club flickered the lights to warn patrons, giving them a chance to escape before the police arrived.

However, on June 24, 1969, there was a raid that the management wasn’t warned about in advance. The following Friday, the police returned to carry out another raid. But this time, they faced resistance. A crowd of about five to six hundred gathered outside the Stonewall, throwing bricks and bottles and blocking police from arresting people. Twenty-one protestors were arrested. The following night, about 2,000 people showed up. They held hands and chanted, forming a human chain to block off the road. Several people were injured.

Stonewall Becomes a Movement

In the weeks that followed, Stonewall energized many other protests and marches. The Gay Liberation Front formed and raised money for the poor and for those who had been arrested. The Gay Liberation Front also created an underground newspaper. On June 28, 1970–one year after Stonewall–thousands of people arrived in Greenwich Village for the first-ever “Christopher Street Liberation Day” march. This event evolved into New York City’s annual Pride parade.

Around the world today, countless cities now celebrate Pride Month in June. The Gay and Lesbian Travel Association lists more than one hundred different Pride events across the globe.

Dig Deeper President Obama commemorated the importance of Stonewall in 2016. Find out what he did and write a paragraph describing why it was important.