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What is Pride Month? Pride definition, Facts and Why We Celebrate

November 19, 2023



Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and plus communities (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month is now observed every year in June, commemorating the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in Manhattan.

The Stonewall Riots, or Stonewall Uprising, were a series of disorders and spontaneous demonstrations against a police raid that began on the night of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, New York. These clashes are often cited as the first instance in history where members of the gay community resisted the government-sanctioned system of gay persecution.

The Stonewall Uprising marked a turning point for the gay liberation movement in the United States and worldwide. Initially, the last Sunday of June in the U.S. was celebrated as 'Gay Pride Day.' In major cities across the country, this 'day' grew to include a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations feature pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, and concerts, attracting millions of participants around the world. Throughout this month, memorials are held for community members who have died from hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.


First Gay Rights Group Formed (1924) 

Founded by World War I veteran Henry Gerber in Chicago, this group launched the first gay rights publication in the United States.

Stonewall Riots (1969) 

When New York City police raided a Greenwich Village gay club named the Stonewall Inn, riots and protests broke out in the surrounding streets, lasting six days.

First Pride (1970)

Occurred on June 28 of that year, the first Pride Parade, called the 'Gay Liberation March,' took place on the streets of New York City, USA, marking the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

LGBT History Month Recognized in October (1994) 

Following the Stonewall riots, June was considered a month of advocacy for gay rights, but in 1994, an educational organizations' coalition declared October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History Month.

Bill Clinton Recognizes Gay and Lesbian Pride Month (1999)

The U.S. federal government officially acknowledges June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

LGBT Pride Month, or The Most Colorful Celebration of the Year

June holds a special significance for the LGBT+ community worldwide. The roots of this festival trace back to the arduous struggle of minorities against homophobia and societal prejudices. Its primary goal is to acknowledge the impact that LGBT people have made in history at local, national, and international levels.

Nowadays, during the "Pride Month," parties, concerts, gay parades, workshops, and other cultural events are held, attracting millions of participants in many countries. Perhaps the largest international celebration is World Pride, which occurs in a new part of the world every year. It showcases the global need for diversity and inclusion.

The Beginning of the Movement (More)

On the morning of June 28, 1969, police raided a New York LGBT bar and began to bring patrons onto the street. The situation escalated as people resisted arrest, and a growing crowd threw bottles and coins at the officers.

This incident sparked significant riots among the New York gay community, tired of years of persecution by the authorities. The disturbances lasted for three days.

The uprising catalyzed the emerging gay rights movement. Organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance were formed, following the model of the civil rights and women's rights movements.

Members of these organizations held protest actions, met with political leaders, and interrupted public meetings to hold speakers accountable. A year after the Stonewall riots, the first gay parades in the country took place.

In 2016, the area around the Stonewall Inn, still a popular nightclub, was declared a national monument.

The first month of summer henceforth marks an important event for LGBT+ people. "Pride month" translates from English to"month of pride."

Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist from New York, is credited with coining the term. Many call her the "Mother of Pride" for organizing the first LGBT Pride in honor of the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

Incidentally, another vibrant symbol of LGBT+ people is the rainbow flag. It too is associated with Pride celebrations. In 1978, artist and designer Gilbert Baker, at the request of San Francisco city leader Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the USA, created a flag for the upcoming Pride celebrations.

Baker gifted the LGBT people a symbol of pride, drawing inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the community's diverse multitude.


Colorful inspiring equality marches, joyful festivals, demonstrations, workshops, picnics, and parties are some of the main components of the LGBT+ Pride Month.

Memorials and commemorations are also held for community members who have died from hate crimes and HIV/AIDS. Campaigns and rallies aim to promote and preserve the history and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Cultural events take place in nearly all developed and tolerant countries where discriminatory laws are absent. Thus, pride celebrations have become an integral part of American culture, with equality marches being held annually since the 1970s.

However, to express support for the LGBT+ community, it’s not mandatory to attend or participate in gay parades. During Pride Month, all those who are sympathetic can raise awareness in their social networks, for example, by using special rainbow frames for profile photos, rainbow emojis, and hashtags like #WearYourPride, #PrideMonth, #LGBT, #LGBTQ.

It’s no surprise that Pride Month garners significant public attention. Nearly all media outlets cover it, with many global celebrities, bloggers, and major brands voicing support for the LGBT+ community. Some even launch entire campaigns to draw attention to the issues faced by sexual minorities.

Over the past decades, not just progressive media and civil activists but also business brands, from tourism to cosmetics, have joined in supporting pride. They sponsor marches and festivals, and clothing manufacturers release special "rainbow" capsule collections in June.

The flip side of such campaigns includes discussions about the commercialization of the LGBT+ rights movement, the exploitation of protest by large capital, and a shift in focus from uncompromising rights advocacy to comfortable consumption.

Such claims are unsurprising, as the purchasing power of the LGBT+ community is estimated in the trillions of dollars. Under these circumstances, corporate interest in pride seems increasingly less philanthropic and more business-oriented.

LGBT+ Includes Everyone

LGBT stands for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people. However, today, this acronym has expanded significantly. For instance, one variation is LGBTIQS+, adding "intersex," "queer," "allies," and all other communities that feel an affinity.

Sometimes the acronym is extended with "A" for asexuals and "P" for pansexuals. Queer is a general term for non-heterosexuals. Intersex refers to those whose sex is not defined clearly due to genetic, hormonal, or biological differences, and asexuals describe those who do not experience sexual attraction.

Regardless of these formalities, pride events welcome everyone who feels that their sexual identity extends beyond the conventional. Many heterosexuals allies also join in celebrating Pride Month.

Moreover, not all LGBT+ individuals can or are willing to openly declare themselves, and during these times, the help and support from allies is very important.

One can spread information about who LGBT+ individuals are, talk about inclusivity and diversity, support acquaintances, and demonstrate solidarity in various ways.


What is Pride Month and why do we celebrate it?

Pride Month is a month that honors the LGBTQ community and its fight for equal rights. We celebrate it as it recognizes the activism, acceptance, and diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. It is held during the month of June as that's when the first gay Pride event, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day or gay Pride Day, happened in 1969 following the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York.

When does Pride Month occur?

Pride Month occurs in the month of June every year, from June 1 to June 30.

What is the symbol of Pride and its meaning?

The symbol of Pride is the rainbow flag sometimes referred to as the gay Pride flag. It was designed by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. The original flag had eight colors, each with a distinct meaning of pride: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity, and violet for spirit.

What is a Pride Parade and what happens during this march?

A Pride Parade is a public event celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and its fight for liberation and equal rights. It is often a festive occasion, filled with floats, music and, of course, tons ofpride flags. It originally started as an activism event known as the Gay Pride March in New York in 1970.

When was the first Pride Parade and where was it held?

The first Pride Parade, also known as the first gay pride march, was held on June 28, 1970, in New York City, on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. This event was initially organized by ERCHO, the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations.

Can I celebrate Pride Month if I am not part of the LGBTQ+ community?

A: Yes, Pride Month is not only for the LGBTQ+ community. Everyone is encouraged to celebrate. It's about recognizing and affirming the freedom of people to be who they are and love who they love without fear or discrimination. People of all identities can and do participate in Pride Month.

Are there any specific traditions during Pride Month?

Pride Month is marked by a number of events and traditions, including Pride parades, raising of the Pride flag, remembrance services, and sharing of stories and histories that have shaped the LGBTQ+ community. Many people also choose to wear rainbow-colored clothing or accessories during the month to express their support for the community.

What primary events are expected during the 2023 Pride Month celebration?

While specific events can vary from city to city and year to year, some traditional events are expected to continue, such as Pride parades and marches, community picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and conferences, concerts, and more. Remembering and honoring the history of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as continued advocacy for equal rights, will remain central themes.

How was Pride Month founded?

Pride Month originated from the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969 in New York City. In response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a bar popular within the LGBTQ community, protests and demonstrations began. This event marked a significant turning point in the fight for LGBTQ rights, leading to the first Gay Pride march in 1970.

Can Pride Month be celebrated individually or should it only be group celebrations?

While group celebrations such as parades, parties, and gatherings are common during Pride Month, individual celebrations are just as valid and important. This could include personal reflection on LGBTQ history, advocating for equal rights, or simply wearing Pride colors.

Written By: 

Kollyn Conrad


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March 20th 2023

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