It's Your Voice
Happy Pride Month
June 1st marks the beginning of one of the most anticipated months of the year. Now known for including celebrations like parades, drag performances and LGBTQ theater, the evolution of June from merely the summer kick-off month, to becoming the international Pride Festival
month, has been quite extraordinary. Its origins stem back to June 28th 1969, when a now-
famous gay bar called The Stonewall Inn, a safe haven for many in the LGBTQ community, was raided by police officers who violently attacked the customers inside. The raid sparked outrage and, for several days, riots ensued. Known as the Stonewall Riots, these events changed the course of history. Exactly one year later, on the anniversary of the riots, NYC experienced its first Pride Parade with hundreds of people marching from The Stonewall Inn all the way to Central Park. Since then, pride month has become an essential part of our culture as LGBTQ voices are heard and uplifted throughout the country.
Activists, artists and performers use their talents to raise awareness and create inclusive spaces to encourage all to understand and recognize the impact that the LGBTQ community has had on American history and indeed World history. While there is much to celebrate during Pride month, there is also much to mourn. Though much progress has been made since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, many LGBTQ folks continue to experience various forms of marginalization, violence and discrimination. More work remains to be done, and Pride Month highlights the challenges still faced by the LGBTQ community in the hopes of inciting social change.
People have begun to prioritize LGBTQ rights, and we have therefore reached a time where these voices not only take the spotlight in June, but also every other month of the year. We have slowly seen film, tv and broadway represent the community in less stereotypical roles and while this has only a small impact on the community, nonetheless, it is crucial to celebrating a community of people not as clichéd characters but as human beings.