Pride Month: All You Need to Know About This Celebration
June is all about celebrating people’s identities. Pride Month embraces the wonderful diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community and being true to yourself!
What is LGBTQIA+?
Wanting to move towards inclusivity, the shorter LGBT has expanded. Thus, adding new letters to represent members of the community. Keep reading to see what this acronym represents and means to Pride.
- L is for Lesbian. This is a female-identifying person who is attracted to another female-identifying person.
- B is for Bisexual. Someone who is attracted to more than one gender.
- G is for Gay. This is a male-identifying person who is attracted to another male-identifying person.
- T is for Transgender. This is someone whose gender identity/expression does not conform to they sex they were assigned at birth. Having to do with gender and not sexuality, transgender people may identity as other LGBQIA+ terms.
- Q is for Queer or Questioning. Referring to anyone who is not straight or cisgender, queer is an umbrella term in the community for those who don’t wish to use labels. Historically, the term was a slur. But, recently it has been reclaimed by LGBTQIA+ people. Questioning is a term for those who are not sure about how they identify.
- I is for Intersex — referring to people who naturally have biological traits which don’t match what is typically identified as male or female.
- A is for Asexual/Aromantic or Ally. Another umbrella term, asexual is for those who do not experience attraction to others. Ally encompasses those who identify as cisgender and straight, but support the LGBTQIA+ community.
The expanding of identities shows how our language can evolve to encompass and represent more people.
The Origins of Pride
Pride Month honours the Stonewall riots.
Occuring at the end of June in 1969, this demonstration happened at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of NYC. Very few establishments welcomed gay people at that time because of laws against homosexuality.
In response to a police raid, Stonewall’s patrons fought back against those imposing an anti-gay legal system. Being a catalyst for the gay liberation movement, this event is a landmark in LGBTQIA+ rights.
A year after the uprising, the first gay pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Following this, multiple gay rights organisations formed across the US and the world. In 2016, the Stonewall National Monument took its place in NYC.
Officially recognised by two US Presidents, Bill Clinton in 1999 and then Barack Obama in 2009 (and every year onward) noted Pride Month.
Marsha P. Johnson “threw the first brick” at Stonewall. Among her stand other strong LGBTQIA+ pioneers such as Harvey Milk (the first openly gay US politician) and Sylvia Rivera (a transgender activist).
How Pride is Celebrated
Pride is about celebrating identities and honouring those who died for the right for this celebration. Many older community members lost countless of friends during the AIDs crisis and see Pride as a way of honouring those people. On the other hand, younger generations see Pride as a chance to fully express their identities. Many major cities host Pride Parades and various other events throughout the month.