It’s important to be who you are as often as possible. Ideally we would all be our true selves all of the time! Unfortunately that is often easier said than done, especially for people who are misunderstood, treated poorly by society, and those who feel like it could even be dangerous to truly be themselves. Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is often viewed as a negative thing. While there is no easy way of changing everyone’s outlook on the LGBTQ community, there are ways that we can support one another as human beings! A rich history has seen to it that future LGBTQ people might be able to feel comfortable in their own skin and have pride in feeling that way.
What is PRIDE?
The Darkness In The Past
On June 28th of 1969, before the Pride Parade was a celebration, it was a riot. A gay club known as the Stonewall Inn, in downtown Manhattan, set the scene for what would become one of the most memorable days in LGBTQ history. While police often raided the club, on the night of June 28th, the patrons of the club had enough! Protests grew and for the rest of the week people began to protest through the streets.
The First Pride Parade
While the Stonewall riots didn’t exactly change everyone’s mind at the time, they did have an effect on the future. To be more precise, one year later, the very first gay pride event took place. In honor of the Stonewall Inn protests, people organized a march known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. People all over New York City marched their way through the streets, showing pride in themselves and those they loved. While the march had a very dark beginning, the chant was loud and definite: “Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.” The march in New York wasn’t the only one in the United States. In Los Angeles, another march was formed and it was even sanctioned by the city. Gaining city support turned it from a march into a parade in the truest sense of the word.
Pride festivals have grown into something bigger than anyone could’ve imagined. While in New York, they still refer to them as marches, everywhere else calls them festivals or parades. New York keeps the title of a march out of respect for Stonewall Inn. No matter what name you know it as, how you choose to attend, or where you attend, pride festivals are for everyone. Enjoy pride in yourself and others at the annual pride festival.