History of Pride by Melayne Spataro

The way we know pride month now isn’t actually how it started out. In the beginning it was not a celebratory thing that we think of now, it was actually a riot, more specifically it is now what’s known as the Stonewall Riots which lasted from June 28th 1969 – July 3rd 1969 at the Greenwich Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. The main person that people remember who was a part of the riots was Marsha P. Johnson, who was a Black woman who identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community, but she wasn’t the only one who has made a huge impact on how the community exists now because of the riots. Another prominent woman who was part of the riots was Stormé DeLarverie, she was also Black woman who identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community and who also was an early leader in the gay rights movement. Sylvia Rivera is another name that gets talked about when the Stonewall Riots is brought up in conversations. The riots started because the LGBTQ+ community was tired of not being able to exist without being prosecuted and demanding that it would change and be able to live life without fear of being persecuted. Thus, the reason pride month is in June is because it commemorates the riots that happened at Stonewall. The first actual pride parade was on the one-year anniversary of the riots and it has been an ongoing thing since then.

Since 1969, lots of changes have happened for the LGBTQ+ community but there still is a long way to go. One of the changes that has happened is that homosexuality is no longer listed in the DSM as a disorder or a disturbance or any other type of illness. Though there are still things that the LGBTQ+ community faces: people who “don’t agree” with being LGBTQ+, people who want to do harm to those in the community, there are countries that will imprison, corporal punish, or even kill you if it’s found out that you identify as part of the community and there’s even countries that have laws that state that it is illegal to be LGBTQ+, there are parts of the world, even parts of the U.S., where you could lose things such as a job if you are LGBTQ+, ectara.

Though there is a plus side, all of the positive things that have happened since the Stonewall Riots. From 1969 on, there have been big steps made in order for those in the LGBTQ+ community to live their lives openly and however else they want. In many parts of the world, same-sex marriage is legal, with Costa Rica being the latest one to join the list, and there are at least a few other countries that do recognize same-sex marriage. Though June is known as Pride Month, parts of the world have their pride parade or festivities in other months, one example is several places actually hold their pride parade in the month of October because National Coming Out Day just so happens to be in the same month. There are also ways to get involved and help with the progression of the LGBTQ+ community and continue in moving forward. These are things that can be done by individuals as well as groups of people but it’s not necessarily limited to the following things: there being resources that help organizations to support and understand LGBTQ+ youth as well as organizations that are there to help the LGBTQ+ youth, going to pride or any other LGBTQ+ events in your local area, and taking a pledge to speak out about intolerance and hate that those in the LGBTQ+ community face.

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