Pride Month occurs in June to commemorate the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising that occurred in Manhattan between the NYPD and the LGBT community. It marked a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in America and around the world. A year later, on the anniversary of the uprising, the first Pride March was held in New York City.
Pride Month celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and the contributions gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer Americans have made to our country. It is also a time to educate ourselves on LGBTQ+ history, advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ individuals have been contributing to the arts, sciences, politics, and sports throughout history. People like Leonardo di Vinci, Sally Ride, Harvey Milk, and Billy Jean King have broken through barriers, been revered for their talents, and helped society progress. Learn more about these amazing individuals and their contributions here.
LGBTQ+ individuals have been a minoritized community across the globe. It wasn’t until 2015 that same-sex marriage became legal throughout the United States with the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Obergefell v Hodges. Up until the ruling, same-sex couples did not have the same rights at heterosexual couples. Some states imposed bans on same-sex marriage or refused to recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states. Obergefell v Hodges deemed these actions to be unconstitutional and recognized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Although the LGBTQ+ community has gained more rights in the United States, individuals still face violence and discrimination both here and abroad. Learn about the violence and discrimination the LGBTQ+ community faces around the world here.
There are many ways to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Here are a few actions you can take:
- Understand the threats LGBTQ+ individuals face.
- Follow and promote organizations that support and defend the LGBTQ+ community, like the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, It Gets Better, Lambda Legal, PFLAG, and The Trevor Project.
- Be supportive of people who disclose their status as a sexual or gender minority.
- Don’t make assumptions about a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. Proactively identify your preferred pronouns.
- Stand up to homophobic and transphobic comments.
- Challenge the status quo of heteronormative systems and policies (e.g., blood donation)
- Support inclusive policies in your school or workplace.
- Be open to learning from others.
- Shop at LGBTQ+ owned businesses.
- Let people know you’re an ally by wearing/displaying the rainbow flag or simply voicing your support.
Pride Month is also a time to celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community. There are several parades happening in major cities across the globe and many other events occurring in local municipalities. Check your town/city calendar for upcoming events. If you don’t see any activities, advocate for greater awareness and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community within your area.
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