This article was published on September 30th, 2021
For more than 50 years, Gay & Lesbian Pride Month has been celebrated in June, but it was officially recognized by President Bill Clinton in 2000. In 2011, President Barack Obama expanded the observance to LGBT Pride Month. Today, there are thousands of celebrations worldwide that are attended by millions of participants in cities that include parades, circuit parties, workshops, picnics in parks, concerts, and other events. It is also a time for commemorating those in the community that lose their lives to hate crimes or HIV. In 2021, HomoCulture continues the tradition by breaking down the history of the month and how to provide continued support throughout the community.
Stonewall was the inspiration behind Pride Month.
The LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride Month now to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising that served as the impetus for fighting for equal rights and parity for members living under the umbrella. The impact of their contributions continues to resonate throughout the gay community and beyond, with recognition now seen in societies on a local, national, and international level.
The incident, which occurred in New York City’s Greenwich Village at the Stonewall Inn on June 2nd, 1969, was the tipping point for the liberation movement for queer people in the United States. The riot that resulted between car patrons and the police included hundreds of people, nearly a week of protests and clashes that led to violence on Christopher Street and surrounding areas. A year later the aftermath was commemorated with what was then called the ‘Christopher Street Liberation Day’ parade, the first of its kind and now known as the country’s first gay pride parade. Since 1970, the LGBTQ+ community and allies have gathered during the month of June to march and demonstrate for equal rights for all.
LGBT History Month began in 1994.
Created in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school history teacher, LGBT History Month was passed in 1995 by the General Assembly of the National Education Association that included LGBT History Month within its list of commemorative months. The month of October was chosen to coincide with October 11th, National Coming Out Day, and the anniversary of the first march on Washington for gay rights in 1979.
LGBT History Month celebrates the rich history of the community.
The month highlights the extraordinary contributions of LGBTQ+ people, and according to GLAAD, “during the early years, the celebration was largely marked by a call to action and commemoration. But since then, LGBT History Month has blossomed into a national coordinated effort to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community. Since 2006, this push has so far been led by LGBT rights and education organization Equality Forum.” The efforts can be seen today across the board, with more protection and acknowledgment of the community than ever before.
The LGBTQ+ community continues to reach out for assistance in a more equitable world.
Allies and interested parties that would like to contribute to LGBTQ+ services can first look locally within their neighborhoods for groups and organizations that work for equality throughout the community. Ultimately, it is the goal of those living under the LGBTQ+ umbrella to connect with others that are open to supporting their fight for more resources and opportunities to create a stronger and healthier world.
What Comes Next
Which causes are closest to your heart within the LGBTQ+ community? Which local groups in your neighborhood are reputable and truly advancing the area where you live? Let HomoCulture know in the comments section below.