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The History Behind Pride Month

In June 2000, President Bill Clinton designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Later on, in 2009, President Obama made the month more expansive so that Pride Month included Bisexual and Transgender individuals as well. Pride Month is celebrated all over the United States in New York City, Miami, Philadelphia, Utah, and a variety of other locations . The cities hold festivals, parades, and more, attracting millions of people to support the LGBTQ+ community. Through all of the fun, the purpose of the month remains to work to achieve equal opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community in America and internationally.

Before Pride Month

Historically laws prevented equal treatment in society for those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Movements and groups fighting for civil rights within the LGBTQ+ community began before the creation of Pride Month, including the formation of the Society for Human Rights in Chicago in 1920 and the Mattachine Society in 1966. Both coalitions organized and conducted protests against local laws discriminating against the LGBTQ+ community. Specifically, the Mattachine Society organized "sip-ins'' where individuals sitting at the bar would state they were gay and then request a drink to fight the unjust laws of not serving homosexuals. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a pride event, "Reminder Day Pickets," was held annually on July 4th to fight for civil rights within the LGBTQ+ community. Many traditions at the "Reminder Day Pickets'' are utilized within Pride Month today.

How did Pride Month Start?

In June 1969, a historic turning point within the LGBTQ+ movement occurred at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York. The police raided the bar and dragged out customers and employees without probable cause. This raid led to six days of protests, the most prominent LGBTQ+ protest of its time. In honor of the Stonewall Inn uprising one year later, the first Pride March occurred on June 28th, 1970. Three to five thousand marchers joined to march fifty-one blocks from Greenwich Village to Central Park. Many LGBTQ+ activists collaborated to create the first Pride March, the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. Frank Kamney and Lilli Vincenz, were game changing activists who were part of the Mattachine Society of Washington. Other organizations, such as the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations and Christopher Street Liberation Day Umbrella Committee, brought together New York City activists to create the first Pride March. They went even further to spread the march nationally, leading to demonstrations in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. These significant contributions led to an ongoing annual march and even became an entire month of celebration and recognition of the LGBTQ+ individuals within our nation.

Get Involved

It's June, and it is finally time to celebrate pride month! Besides attending parades, festivals, and posting trendy, supportive, content on instagram, now more than ever, the LGBTQ+ community in the United States needs support. As the rights of many people within the LGBTQ+ are being questioned, it is essential for everyone to support the community in fighting for their basic human rights.

Supporting the LGBTQ+ community should be done year round, not only in the month of June. Although, maybe this June could be your time to start taking action.There are a variety of different ways to help support and fight for the LGBTQ+ community; here are some of the ways you can get started:

  • Learn more about the LGBTQ+ community through learning history, reading books, watching documentaries, and more…

  • Call and email representatives to support pro-LGBTQ+ legislation.

  • Donate to organizations owned or endorsed by individuals of the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Celebrate by going to a pride event.

  • Have a conversation and listen to members of the LGBTQ+ community.


A&E Television Networks. (2023, May 8). Pride month 2023: Origins, parades & dates.

About : Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer Pride month : library of Congress. The Library of Congress. (n.d.).

Baker, K. (2023, May 23). 30 ideas to thoughtfully celebrate Pride Month (2023). Good Good Good.

Choi, A. (2023, April 6). Record number of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced this year | CNN politics. CNN.

Eiser, N. (n.d.). Temple and Philadelphia: Our queer history. Temple and Philadelphia: Our Queer History.

Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2023, May 25). Stonewall riots. Encyclopædia Britannica.

Metcalf, M. (n.d.). Story map cascade. Home.

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