The History of Gay Pride Month

June is pride month. Pride month is celebrated by members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies.


Pride day is celebrated on June 28th each year, and it’s main event is the Pride Day Parade in New York City


How did Pride Month begin?

It began in 1970, as a tribute to the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots occurred June 28th, 1969 after police raided a gay club. 


People nearby saw what was happening and began rioting in the streets.The protests continued over six days.


While the Stonewall riots weren’t the first gay rights protests, they had a large impact and made headway for today’s gay rights activist groups.


Immense progress has been made since the Stonewall riots.


What’s changed?

Gay Americans were not allowed to join the military until 1993, when President Bill Clinton introduced his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. This policy only allowed gay Americans to serve in the military if they were not open about their sexuality.


In 2011, President Barack Obama repealed this policy and let gay Americans who were out about their sexuality join the United States military.


Then, in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage in the landmark Obergefel v. Hodges case.


Why do we still celebrate Pride Month?

Even though leaps and bounds of progress have been made in regards to gay rights in the past century, the fight for equality still remains. Many individuals in the LGBTQ+ community still face discrimination in many ways.

According to Global Citizen, “Hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals are still shockingly prevalent across the country.” Several states still do not include gender or sexuality as hate crimes, and therefore do not have protections in place for when these hate crimes occur. 


Employment and housing discrimination still happens, as well. As of 2017, 20 states have passed non-discrimination laws. More than half of the states in America still have not.


Keep these things in mind this June as the country celebrates Pride Month. We should be grateful for the progress that has been made, and optimistic that things are still getting better.