Pride Month, the celebration of individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+, began in 1970 as the commemoration of the anniversary of The Stonewall Riots. Per history.com, the riots, which began on June 28, 1969, “served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement across the United States.” The rainbow Pride Flag was first flown on June 25, 1978, at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade and it was not until 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriages legal in all 50 U.S. states.
As we celebrate Pride Month, we should remember that (in the words of an unnamed member of the LGBTQIA+ community), behind colorful Pride Month celebrations — full of bright rainbows, vibrant performances, and ostentatious floats — are many individuals who have experienced great emotional hurt, adversity, shame and in some cases, physical harm.
These individuals, and often their loved ones, have faced great adversity and find much needed validation in Pride Month celebrations. They are reminded that they are not alone, they are seen, they are resilient and they deserve the same security and rights as those who identify as heterosexual.
Pride Month offers opportunities for those unfamiliar with the LGBTQIA+ community to utilize resources to learn and better understand LGBTQIA+ individuals and for allies to show our continued support and in the fight for justice for all.