As most of you probably already know, June is known as Pride Month - a time when the world’s LGBTQ+ communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves and to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS and hate crimes. The month is marked by parades, marches, concerts and much more, but do you know the history of Pride?
I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have done a lot of research and collected some of the most stand-out facts about Pride and created a nice little infographic for you all - so sit back and enjoy!
Did you learn anything new because I certainly did! Unfortunately, there wasn't any room to expand on some of those points or add several more (and those of you who read this weekly blog, know I love to write plenty - oops, sorry for that!) So, I will now go into a little more detail about some of the facts and add a sprinkle more!
The Stonewall Inn, was a gay bar in the Greenwich Village of New York. Gay bars were constantly raided by police because it was illegal to engage in any form of gay behaviour in public, which included dancing with someone of the same sex - how ridiculous! The powerful owners of the Stonewall Inn were the Genovese crime family and they paid for New York’s Sixth Police Precinct to ignore the illegal activities going on in their bar and for tip offs to planned raids.
However, on June 28th, 1969, they weren’t made aware of the planned police raid and the police made 13 arrests. Infuriated by the constant harassment and discrimination, a riot involving hundreds of protesters ensued within minutes, which was eventually dispersed, however the riots continued for 5 more days following the raid. It was these riots that acted as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.
Motivated by the Stonewall riots, a bisexual activist called Brenda Howard known as the ‘Mother of Pride’, organised Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day, all which spurred on the Pride parades and marches we have today.
We know that the Christopher Street Liberation Day, was the USA's first Pride march, but when did the UK have it's first? Well, the UK’s first Pride parade was July 1st, 1972 - the closest Saturday to mark the Stonewall riots.
The original 8-coloured Rainbow flag that Gilbert Baker created, consisted of the following colours and each had a different meaning - hot pink (sex), red (life), orange (healing), yellow (sunlight), green (nature), turquoise (magic), indigo (serenity), violet (spirit.)
The Pride flag is known as the Rainbow flag because Baker took inspiration from rainbows, which he considered to be nature's flag.
Baker chose to create a flag because he saw flags as a very powerful symbol of visibility and proclamation, telling people ‘This is who I am!’
The original flag made its debut appearance in San Francisco, on June 25th, 1978.
Remember, there are plenty of different Pride flags, one to represent each identity and to discover more about them, click the following link for a guide - Pride Flag Guide.
We all know LGBTQ+ as the acronym that is used as an umbrella term for people within the Pride community, but it has developed a great deal since it was first used. There are multiple different versions of the acronym now, but the one I found included most identities was LGBTQQIP2SAA and there are certainly still some missing letters there!
If you wish to find out more, please visit the following link for a guide to the meaning of each letter - LGBTQ+ Guide.
And that concludes today’s post! We still have a long way to go, but we have certainly made progress when considering how the LGBTQ+ community was treated many years ago! Enjoy the rest of your day and remember - Love is Love.