4 Things You Should Know About LGBTQ Pride Month
1. Pride commemorates The Stonewall Inn riots.
In 1969, it was illegal for LGBTQ people to meet in public, so the community had to find private places to meet. Often times these places were targeted by law enforcement and raided. The Stonewall Inn, which was actually owned by the mob, who saw a business opportunity to cater to the LGBTQ community, was classified as a private "bottle club" to avoid local liquor laws that prohibited serving alcohol to the LGBTQ community. During one of the raids in June of 1969, the LGBTQ community of Stonewall began fighting back, leading to a series of demonstrations known as the Stonewall riots. In turn, the riots sparked discussions about the gay community and gay rights, in part leading to the Pride movement.
2. Transgender women of color played a huge role in the origins of Pride.
Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a bisexual transgender woman of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, were at the forefront of the Stonewall conflict, fighting for LGBTQ rights and equality. Both women advocated for space in the community for the transgender population, sex workers, and others who desperately needed legal protections and societal acceptance.
3. The first Pride parade was co-organized by a bisexual woman.
A month after the riots, bisexual activist Brenda Howard organized a liberation day march on Christopher Street to commemorate the event. A year later, Howard was credited with co-organizing the first Pride march, and with coming up with the idea of creating a week-long Pride festival. This was the framework that shaped the Pride month we have today. Howard was a life-long activist who has been cited for her work on behalf of feminist, anti-war and most notably the bisexual causes.
4. The original Pride flag debuted in 1978 and included two additional colors.
Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, the original Pride Flag contained eight colors with coordinating symbols for each. The colors each have meaning to the LGBT community.
Pink - Sexuality
Red - Life
Orange - Healing
Yellow - Sunlight
Green - Nature
Turquoise - Magic/Art
Blue - Serenity/Harmony
Violet - Spirit
Because it was cheaper to produce with fewer colors, later editions of the flag were created with 6 colors, lacking the hot pink and turquoise.