Happy Pride Month to all those who celebrate this! I want to make this post so that I could briefly talk a little about its history and why it is significant and what we as humans can do to either better understand it or to understand some of the people responsible.
So firstly this is a social movement because it revolves around a social issue. Pride month has been marked since 1970 as June, a time to celebrate what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Now there is a variety of ‘other’ categories. What it demands is equality from ‘cis’ and ‘heterosexual’ norms. cis is ‘denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex’.
When there are Pride marches or parades – particularly here in the UK, Manchester, where the event takes over the city for the month – it is because of the Stonewall uprising. It was a watershed moment in LGBTQ history when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Manhattan fought back against a police raid. It is now a national monument. ’22 marks the 52nd anniversary of the event.
Interestingly despite homosexuality being criminalised and frowned upon long before that, it was Henry Gerber in 1924, a German Immigrant who founded the Society for Human Rights in Chicago, and it was the first group to campaign for gay rights in the United States. In 1955 women including Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons founded the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco, the first lesbian rights group in the United States. In fact, the first gay pride month was held in Chicago!
The symbol of pride is a rainbow flag. Are you familiar with the story of Harvey Milk? I suspect you may have heard of him or even seen the movie. Well, he was the openly gay San Francisco city supervisor who tasked the artist Gilbert Baker with creating a symbol for the gay community to use in place of the pink triangle. The pink triangle was actually used by the Nazis in concentration camps, when they forced gay men to wear them. Everyone in those camps had a coloured symbol though. Baker created the pride flag in 1978.
President Bill Clinton (one of the better ones I might add) was the first president to recognise pride month, because in 1999 he issued proclamation No. 7203. His successor who was arguably one of the more horrid presidents, George W. Bush, did not recognise it at all.
Now you’ve had a brief overview of the history. Have a wonderful day!
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