Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is observed in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots and to strive toward equal justice and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans.
Patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City organized an uprising in June, 1969 to protest police harassment and persecution of LGBT Americans. The Stonewall Uprising was a watershed moment in the United States’ Gay Liberation Movement.
Today’s celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, seminars, symposia, and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month activities draw millions of people worldwide. During this month, memorials are organized for community members who have died as a result of hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The commemoration month’s goal is to highlight the effect that LGBTQ people have had on history on a local, national, and worldwide scale. Below are brief descriptions of what just some of these individuals have contributed:
No matter how you celebrate LGBT Pride Month this year there are a few things that you can do to help those who identify as LGBTQ.
It can be tough to know how to react when someone close to you discloses that they are LGBT+. Surprise, exhilaration, perplexity, discomfort, or none of the above may be your immediate reaction. Be truthful in your response, but also acknowledge the significance of your reaction and its potential influence.
Examine your own biases and recognize that it is okay to be uncomfortable at times. Use general terms when speaking with people. Rather than asking a boy if he has a girlfriend or a girl if she has a boyfriend, ask whether there is someone special in their life. Or ask young people what term they would prefer you use.
It’s critical to allow people to come out on their own terms and in their own way. Without a friend’s permission, telling others that they are LGBTQ can destroy trust and potentially put them in danger. Depending on their personal situation, they may be at risk for homophobic bullying and violence if people find out they’re gay or trans. It is never okay to out someone without their permission.
Do you know why we celebrate LGBT Pride month in June? Spend some time learning about the history of Pride, a movement precipitated by the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York. It is also a good time to look into the issues and discrimination lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning Americans face on a daily basis. It’s not the responsibility of LGBTQ people to educate you, so step up to the plate and explore the books, blogs, and videos.