June is Pride month. Pride month is dedicated to celebrating and remembering those who have advocated, and continue to advocate for, equal rights for the LGBTQ community.
We celebrate Pride in June because the Stonewall Uprising, an important event in LGBTQ history, happened in New York City on June 28, 1969. The Stonewall Inn was a gay club in Greenwich Village. After police raided the club, uprisings arose across New York City and sparked a new era of resistance. Thousands of protestors demonstrated against countless years of abuse and discrimination they'd experienced from the government, in housing, and employment. Many of the inequities the LGBTQ community faced were codified into law, and protestors demanded change.
On the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, activists held the first Pride march in New York City. In the years following the initial parade, communities commemorated the monumental change that began on June 28 by celebrating Pride and protesting unjust systems on the last Sunday of June.
Over time, many large cities began to create events that would span the entire month of June. Today, Pride month includes parades, parties, and workshops. Additionally, memorials are often held to honor those who lost their lives to reprehensible hate crimes, and to those who were victims of HIV/AIDS.
The impact that LGBTQ advocates have had on our local, national, and international policies cannot be understated. However, despite many advancements toward legal rights and protections of people in the LGBTQ community, we still have a lot of work to do.
Members of the LGBTQ community continue to face barriers. We know that members of the community are more likely to face health disparities, and have been disproportionately economically impacted by COVID-19. In many states, LGBTQ couples face unjust barriers to building their families.
Pride month is an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made and to look forward and identify what we can work together to change.
Learn more about pride events going on in the Portland area, visit Pride Northwest.