To celebrate the Stonewall Uprising that took place in New York City in 1969, LGBTQ people all around the world celebrate Pride every June. Historically speaking, the Stonewall Rebellion was a watershed point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.
Historically, celebrations of ‘Gay Pride Day’ in the United States have taken place on the last Sunday of June. Before long, the ‘day’ had grown into a month-long celebration in major cities all over the country. Millions of people from all over the world attend LGBTQ Pride Month events like parades, picnics, parties, conferences, symposia, and concerts.
Now that the LGBTQ+ community is continuously growing, Transcaster Radio gives you this guide about the beginning of pride month to help you understand its history and become more proud than ever before.
Why is pride month celebrated in June?
Founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago in 1924, the Society for Human Rights is the oldest LGBTQ rights organisation in the United States. In June of 1969, in New York City’s Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn hosted an event that would spark the LGBTQ rights movement.
The police cleared out this popular bar frequented by young people from the LGBTQ community early on the morning of June 28, 1969. They arrested the staff for selling booze without a licence and roughed up many of the guests. The throng was outraged as they saw the bar’s customers being hustled into police trucks.
When the police harassed members of the LGBTQ community in the past, bystanders stood by and did nothing. This time, however, the audience jeered at the police and tossed coins and then bottles and debris at them, causing the police to shut themselves inside the bar and wait for backup.
About 400 people were rioting inside for one hour. The Stonewall riots, also known as the Stonewall uprising were the spark that launched the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States, and although police reinforcements dispersed the mob, rioting waxed and waned outside the bar for the following five days.
Philadelphia activists had been holding ‘annual reminders’ testaments on July 4 for the four years prior to the Stonewall riots to draw attention to the fact that homosexuals and lesbians were being denied basic rights as citizens. However, these gatherings had been tightly controlled picket demonstrations wherein males were mandated to wear suits and ties, women were instructed to dress modestly, and public displays of affection were strictly prohibited.
Gay and proud
It was proposed that a march be held in response to the Stonewall riots at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations on November 2, 1969, in Philadelphia. The procession was planned for June 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and was given the name Christopher Street Liberation Day march in honour of the street that served as the hub of New York City’s LGBTQ community.
It was stated that the movement was not yet culturally empowered, despite the term ‘gay power’, but that its members found immense joy in their sexual identity. Thus,’”homosexual pride” became the rallying cry of the marchers’.
No one disputes that the initial number of marchers numbered in the hundreds, although estimates of the final turnout range from 1,000 to 20,000. Screaming chants like ‘Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud’, people joined the march in support all along the way, greatly increasing its size by the time it reached its final destination.
Today, after the members of the LGBTQ+ and their supporters have continued to fight for freedom, equality, and inclusion, pride month has prevailed to be one of the most celebrated events in the United States and in other countries around the world.
If you want to know more about the history of pride month and the many changes that contributed to its growth, visit our site Transcaster Radio for more information.