June is Pride Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBT Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marks the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBT Americans.
Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Federal and local policies and practices are increasingly acknowledging and focusing on LGBTQ youth and numerous national advocacy and other organizations are also giving greater attention to LGBTQ youth in their work. Encouraging greater acceptance and support for all youth, including those who are or are perceived to be LGBTQ, will make communities, schools, and other settings safer, better places for all youth.
To get involved:
- The White House is holding an LGBT Pride Month Champions of Change Video Challenge to explore the stories of unsung heroes and local leaders who are leading our march towards a more perfect union. In early June, you will have a chance to weigh in and help identify finalists that will be featured as Champions of Change at an event at the White House!
- Take a look at resources from the Administration on Children and Families’ National Clearinghouse on Youth and Families. These resources are geared at helping youth-serving organizations understand and more effectively support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people: Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth With Open Arms.
- Pride events occur throughout the month.
- Check out the It Gets Better Project. Take the pledge to speak up against hate and intolerance whenever and wherever you see it. Watch videos from folks who know “It gets better,” or submit a video of your own.
In 1978, artist and designer Gilbert Baker was commissioned by San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk -- one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US -- to make a flag for the city's upcoming Pride celebrations.
Baker, a prominent gay rights activist, gave a nod to the stripes of the American flag but drew inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the many groups within the gay community.
A subset of flags represent other sexualities on the spectrum, such as bisexual, pansexual and asexual.