A Complete History of Pride Month in America | Get To Know LGBTQ+ More Closely

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Shivangi Gupta
Shivangi Gupta
Shivangi adds great value to the team with her prompt and well-researched insight. Her unprecedented love for literature is reflected well enough in her writings. She takes you on a tour to a world apart with the visual imagery in her content that urges the readers to ponder. To get the brain juices flowing, she makes sure to have a brewing cup of coffee next to her all day.

Pride Month celebrates self-affirmation, dignity, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. The month-long celebration is given the name “Pride” to encourage the feeling of oneness of the LGBTQ+ community. Globally, the festivities are parades, parties, protests, and proms. Supporters of the community also join in to show their solidarity and respect. But what is the history of Pride Month in America?

Pride Month commemorates the years behind the struggle for civil rights and the pursuit of justice under law for the LGBTQ+ community. Innumerable Pride events take place in cities worldwide; each one is tied in some or the other way to the Stonewall Riots in June. Finally, after years of protests, the community gets their much-needed support from administrative powers in America and other countries.

Even after 50 years of the Pride celebrations, the events are so varied and goal-oriented that you can find your way of celebrating Pride. Hence, let’s know more about its history and how it started.

History of Pride Month in America

A Complete History of Pride Month in America | Get To Know LGBTQ+ More Closely
Stonewall resistance on June 28th 1969.

The history of Pride month in America started with the fight of the LGBTQ+ community for their rights in the United States in 1924. The Society of Human Rights was started in Chicago by Henry Gerber. The event kicked off the Pride movement. Later on June 28, 1969, in New York City’s Greenwich Village at Stonewall Inn, there was an outburst for the first time. 

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On June 28, early in the morning police raided the place popular among the young LGBTQ+ community. Employees from the bar were arrested for selling liquor illegally. The police arrested patrons and cleared the bar. The bar crowd waiting outside was enraged by the bar’s patrons being herded inside police vans. 

The crowd of agitated people threw coins, bottles, and debris at the police, forcing them to barricade inside the bar for backup. Almost 400 people were rioting outside the bar. The police managed to disperse the crowd with great difficulty, but riots continued outside the Stonewall Inn for the next five days. The Stonewall riots, better known as the Stonewall uprising, ignited the spark of the movement of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States.

What Happened Before the Stonewall Uprising?

LGBTQ+ Resistance after Stonewall riots
LGBTQ+ Resistance after Stonewall riots

The history of Pride month in America states back even before the Stonewall riots. Outside the Independence Hall on July 4, activists staged their protests before the Stonewall Inn. Gays and lesbians were denied their fundamental citizenship rights. The events continued with picket demonstrations. Men had to wear appropriate formal clothing, whereas women had to wear skirts and blouses. Public display of affection was strictly forbidden. 

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With an idea of a united march commemorating the Stonewall events, a meeting was held at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations in Philadelphia on November 2, 1969. June 28, 1970, was the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and the march was scheduled. It got the name Christopher Street Liberation Day march after the street where it became the epicenter of New York City’s LGBTQ+ community. It is here that the march was proposed to begin.

Why is Pride Celebrated in June?

Christopher Street Liberation March
Christopher Street Liberation March.

The first-ever Pride parade started during the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, dated June 28, 1970. New York activists organized the Christopher Street Liberation March to celebrate the city’s first-ever Pride Week. Hundreds of people started marching up from 6th Avenue to Central Park. Eventually, the parade stretched 15 city blocks and was joined by thousands of supporters.

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June 1970 became synonymous in the history of the Pride month in America. The LGBTQ community started celebrating Pride in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. With time the celebrations rolled longer, and the month of June became symbolic of the pride month.

What Pride Month Looks Like Today?

Many people cite the Stonewall uprising as the origin of Pride. The first known event had a direct response to police raids and brutality. Interestingly,  Pride marches today have police escorts accompanying them. After the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests all around America, Pride organizations are reconsidering the position of police at Pride. People are thinking of banning police officers at Pride until justice reforms and requirements are met.

Pride Parade today
Pride Parade today

LGBTQ+ people feel that only one month of celebration out of the other 12 months is not enough to extend their community with safety and equity. At the same time, others think that even a month of rainbow flags fluttering in most places is better than silence. The celebration of Pride becomes meaningful with the knowledge of the history of Pride month in America. One can get a fuller experience and a deeper appreciation for how it was possible.

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Wrapping Up

Pride is celebrated globally in parades, shows, and performances in most countries. The riot that started 50 years ago is now a colorful movement globally. People throng trains from far and wide to join this movement and support LGBTQ+. 

I hope the article has increased your knowledge of the history of Pride month in America. I hope you enjoyed reading the article as much as we enjoyed compiling it. Follow our website to get more updates regarding Pride. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When did the Stonewall Uprising take place?

The Stonewall Uprising happened on June 28, 1969

Why is Pride celebrated during June?

The Pride celebrations happen each year in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

Who celebrates Pride each year?

Although Pride is majorly for the LGBTQ community, anyone who supports and respects the community is welcome to join the celebrations.

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