Pride Month: A look at the history, progress and celebration

June 9, 2021

June is recognized as Pride Month and has been celebrated for decades across the United States. You may notice parades, events and festivals popping up across your city to honor LGBTQ voices. To do our small part in elevating these deserving voices, we’re takinga look at how businesses and people alike are celebrating…and the ways you can, too! First, let’s start at the beginning. What exactly sparked this call to action that inspired our nation to uphold justice for all?

Origins of Pride Month

  • June 28, 1969: The date of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City. A date to remember. Riots and protests arose throughout the city after police invaded a gay club in Greenwich Village, sparking a liberation movement. Although there’s still work to be done, this has been recognized as the tipping point that ignited LGBTQ activism.
  • 2015: The Stonewall Inn was declared a historic landmark by the city of New York.
  • 2016: The Stonewall Inn was declared a national monument by President Barack Obama.
  • June 11, 1999: President Bill Clinton was the first U.S. president to officially recognize June as Pride Month in Proclamation No. 7203.
  • June 15, 2020: The United States Supreme Court ruled, in a landmark decision, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will include prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status. 

 A Few Fast Facts

  • Pride Symbols: You’ve probably seen the rainbow flag proudly displayed in neighborhoods and businesses, but where did it come from? In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the first rainbow flag. Baker knew that flags had a reputation of being the most powerful symbol of pride, and he created each of the eight stripe colors to hold a specific meaning.
  • Parades: Chicago is the place of the first Pride march, taking place in 1970 to mark the first anniversary of Stonewall. Since then, other cities have joined forces. Unfortunately, Covid-19 affected Pride celebrations in 2020, moving most events online, but with the vaccine rollout and lifted restrictions, things are looking brighter for 2021 Pride events.
  • Annual Traditions: With millions of participants from around the world, Pride Month events include marches, concerts, symposiums and memorials held for members of the LGBTQ community who lost their lives to hate crimes. 

 How You Can Play a Part

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, you can partake in local events and celebrations, shop brands that give back for Pride Month 2021 and further your education by visiting local sites where LGBTQ history was made. Perhaps most of all, you can stand with us and choose love and equality over all else.

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