Happy Pride Month!
Updated: Jun 27, 2022
By Adrienne Lee
Happy Pride Month! Pride month is the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, celebrated in the month of June to uplift LGBTQ+ voices, celebrate their culture, and support their rights. In celebration of pride month, I will be discussing some background of the Modern Gay Rights Movement in the United States, how pride month is being celebrated this year, and how it’s taught in schools.
Origin of the celebration of Pride Month
In the 1960s and decades after, the LGBTQ+ community was not welcomed and was even illegal in New York City. As a result, private gay bars and clubs were created for those to openly express and socialize without worry or discomfort. However, the New York State Liquor Authority shut down these establishments, claiming the gathering of homosexuals to be “disorderly.” Although they eventually got rid of these regulations in 1966, engaging in any gay behavior in public was still illegal, allowing police harassment of gay bars to continue. Three years later, the Stonewall Riots occurred initiating the start of the Gay Rights movement.
The Stonewall Riots, also known as the Stonewall Uprising, began on June 28, 1969, when New York City’s police raided the Stonewall Inn (a gay club located in Greenwich Village). The raids consisted of police forcefully taking employees and patrons out of the bar. It became a riot, when in response, protests and clashes with law enforcement broke out for 6 days outside the bar on Christopher Street. This incident initiated the Gay Rights movement, motivating more people to advocate for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Overall, the Gay Rights movement made huge progress, as laws prohibiting homosexual activity had been struck down. However, there is still progress to be made in the areas of employment, housing, transgender rights, etc.
Violence in the Stonewall Riots.
How is pride month being celebrated currently & how can you participate?
This year marks the 52nd celebration of Pride Month, and consists of parades, festivals and many events. For those in Boston, Pride Month was kicked off with an event at City Hall featuring performances by many LBGTQ+ artists. Unfortunately, a pride parade will not be taking place in Boston this year. However, on Wednesday June 29, a concert called “Pride Calling” at Parade Grounds from 5 to 8 pm will take place to conclude the month.
If you’re not in Boston, there’s many other events being held that you can join:
1. St. Petersburg, Florida: June 25
In Florida’s “Sunshine City”, the state's biggest Pride parade will take place.
2. Minneapolis and St. Paul: June 26
For some background, Minneapolis was the first U.S city to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance for LGBTQ individuals. A parade will take place on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.
3. Chicago: June 26
Another Pride parade will take place, which has an annual average audience of more than 1 million in attendance! You can find many other pride events taking place throughout the city during Pride Month as well.
Pride parade in Chicago.
There are many other states that will be hosting parades and events such as New Orleans, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle! In addition, even hosting small events in your local area, and/or school is another way you can participate in pride celebrations.
How is Pride being taught/introduced & promoted at schools?
Within school communities, many actions have taken place to promote a LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum to better help others understand the community. For students and even educators of the LBGTQ+ community, this has increased feelings of safety and inclusion at school. However, despite this new wave of efforts to integrate LBGTQ+ content into the classroom, six states - Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas still have laws prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality.” Some states even require teachers to speak about LGBTQ+ people in a negative tone. For example, in the Alabama law, it states that when discussing sexual health education, “classes must emphasize in a factual manner and from a health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.” Even for states that do promote an LGBTQ+ curriculum, teachers have stated that “we have seen a lot of schools dragging their feet and not teaching it with more meaning and passion.”
At BISB, actions taken by the students, specifically with the creation of the Allies for Action club, help promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity. Members of the club work to do this by hanging up posters to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues and helping students feel more comfortable speaking up to encourage discussion about these issues.
Pride Month is an amazing opportunity to show your extra support for the community, whether you are directly a part of it or are an ally. Promoting inclusion and equality of LGBTQ+ within your own community, like at BISB, can make a huge difference. Be sure to say happy Pride Month to anyone who’s celebrating!