June: The Importance and History of LGBT Pride Month


Rylee Farrar, Staff Writer

June is an essential month for those who identify as LGBTQ+. It represents acceptance and pride for those who are a part of the community. However, it isn’t uncommon for allies and members to not know the history behind this month’s significance.

Homophobia and hate crimes were extremely common prior to the Stonewall Inn riot. Although it is still a prevalent topic in today’s day and age, this event in history sparked a major change in the way the LGBTQ+ community was and still is treated to this day.

In 1967, the Genovese Mafia family opened the Stonewall Inn as a gay bar. Despite being low quality in terms of hygiene and safety, it served as a significant safe space for lesbians and gays in New York City.

It wasn’t uncommon for the NYPD to raid the bar. On June 28, 1969, those who were assaulted by police officers went out of their way to riot against the cruelty.

Several policemen physically assaulted those who were spending the night at the bar and arrested many employees.

A law from 1845 made it illegal for people living in New York to cross-dress. The act of dressing in drag was viewed as a public offense and could lead to arrests.

13 arrests were made on June 28 because of this law, as gender-nonconforming clothing was seen as an extreme violation. Several people were beaten while attending the bar that night, but this only encouraged them to fight back.

Many of the customers threw bottles and bricks at the police officers. They also managed to throw firebombs at the raiders. Despite the violence, there were no deaths recorded from that night.

The riot was quickly stopped by police officers; however, it sparked protests. Many members of the LGBTQ+ community began speaking up for their equality.

A protest held on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riot took place in New York City. This marked the first-ever pride parade, which is now an annual event.

Over 50 years following the riot, the LGBTQ+ pride parade will once again take place on June 27, 2021. This is because the protest generally takes place on the last Sunday of the month. However, many people still consider June 28 to be Gay Pride Day because of the riot.

While the Stonewall Inn riot was not the first nor only protest to take place in the 1900s for gay rights, it was most certainly a significant one in regards to change and publicity. Homophobia and hate crimes still take place to this day, which is why it is important as a community to educate others and embrace the beauty of love, regardless of who it is with.