The month of June commemorates the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQ community to overcome adversity throughout history. Beginning with the raids of the Stonewall Inn, a bar and popular hang out for young gay men, lesbians and transgender people, the movement led to a unification of the community in wake of both the civil rights movement and feminist movement.
Its pretty amazing to look back at history and see how far we’ve come. In 1969, policemen used to raid the Stonewall Inn, roughing up the patrons and even arresting clientele based on a statute that said individuals must wear at least three articles of gender appropriate clothing. Now, pride is a beautiful and effervescent month-long block party, full of festivals, music and parades. Even your local Target has a pride display! We’re loving seeing our communities come together to celebrate pride month.
To imagine Greenwich Village in the late 60’s, and what the population of gay youth endured and revolutionized is truly incredible! After the gritty, underground hub of the Stonewall Inn suffered its attacks from police officers, it became a representation of the gay community fighting back. The gay rights movement hit the ground running from there, led in many ways by transgender activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. While they may not have physically been involved in the events that transpired on June 28th 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, they pieced together the beginnings of a warm and loving community for LGBT people all throughout New York. Together, they founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), and opened the very first homeless shelter to house LGBT youth. In the 80’s, Marsha marched with ACT UP, and AIDS activist group, and continued to be both personally and politically integral to fostering a new age of LGBT.
Everyone knows the iconic 6 rainbow stripes on the pride flag, which has become synonymous with our movement. The flag originated in 1978 in San Francisco by an artist named Gilbert Baker.
Each color on the flag represents 6 ideals: Red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and purple for spirit. The original flag also contained a pink stripe for sexuality and a turquoise stripe for magic, but these were later removed to generalize the flag for production. Additionally, a black stripe was added briefly during the 80’s and 90’s to honor AIDS victims.
It’s truly so much fun to see everyone celebrating such a beautiful festival of love this month. Whether you are gay just love someone who is, pride is something we can all celebrate together!