History of Pride Month

Curtesy of Creative Commons

Amelia Bergeron

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The road to Pride Month has been a long and rocky one that has its roots in the 1960s. The month of recognition for the LGBTQ community began as a way to honor the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, New York in 1969. After facing hate by the police for their sexualities, the community was fed up, prompting riots against law enforcement at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. The Stonewall uprisings did not inaugurate the gay rights movement, but were a step forward in their goal of equality.

After the riots, the last Sunday in June was designated as Gay Pride Day. Now, the date is more flexible, and the LGBTQ community celebrates all month long. Celebrations include pride parades, picnics, and memorials for the victims of HIV/AIDS and previous hate crimes.

In Washington DC, activists began to come forth and make their case for the LGBTQ community’s equality in the 1960s. In the 1980s, activism became somewhat suppressed with the HIV/AIDS epidemic as gayness was villainized by much of the general public and ignored by lawmakers. In the first decade of the 21st century, hope reemerged as the community began to see progress again towards fair treatment. The 2015 legalization of same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court marked a giant leap forward for the LGBTQ community.

Every June, Washington DC hosts the famous Capital Pride Parade organized by the Capital Pride Alliance. This year, on June 8, Dupont and Logan Circle will host the 44th annual parade, which will consist of more than 200 organizations who will travel on a mile and a half route though the neighborhood.

The month of June honors members of the LGBTQ community. The achievements of past activists are recognized and respected as members of the community continue to work towards a better society.