The History of Pride Month in the U.S.

Pride Month is an annual event in the United States that celebrates and recognizes the LGBTQ+ community. The roots of Pride Month being recognized in June dates back to the Stonewall Riots in 1969. 

Stonewall Riots 

The Stonewall Riots marked a significant shift in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, which had been ongoing for decades. 

On June 28, 1969, the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Greenwich Village. Raids at bars where gay people were known to gather were routine at the time, but the impact of the Stonewall Riots was unprecedented. 

As the raid unfolded, patrons and employees inside the bar were interrogated, and a crowd gathered outside. As patrons, employees, and the crowd fought back, police barricaded themselves inside Stonewall. The resistance lasted throughout the night, followed by days of protests across New York City. 

First Pride March

A year later, on June 28, 1970, activists marched through Manhattan to commemorate the riots. It was called the Christopher Street Liberation Day March and is now known as the first Pride parade. Marches and parades also occurred in other cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. 

Pride Month 

In 1999, President Bill Clinton officially declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. In 2009, President Barack Obama renamed it Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. 

In 2016, President Obama designed the Stonewall Inn and its surrounding area as a national monument. It was the first national monument that honored LGBTQ+ rights. 

Pride Marches Today 

Today, Pride is celebrated worldwide with events that draw millions of people. One of the largest celebrations takes place in New York City. 

How You Can Take Part in Pride

You can participate in Pride celebrations in various ways, including attending events, being an ally, further educating yourself on the history of gay rights, volunteering or donating, and getting involved on social media. 

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