LGBTQ Pride Month, also referred to as Gay Pride Month, or LGBT Pride Month, takes place every June. There are pride parades held in many cities, along with several pride festivals such as Motor City Pride in Detroit and NYC Pride. Most of these events take place on the weekends, although there will also be a smattering of weekday options nationwide.
LGBTQ Pride Month traces its roots back to the Stonewall Riots in 1969. New York City police raided a gay club, the Stonewall Inn, on June 28, 1969. Per the History Channel, many officers used brutal force while arresting 13 members of the local LGBTQ community. They also subjected transgender individuals and anyone suspected of cross-dressing to a physical inspection by female officers. Anyone caught not wearing “gender appropriate clothing” was taken into custody.
This sparked a series of protests and violent outbursts throughout the neighborhood. LGBT activists fought against the police for five days in a show of frustration for their lack of rights. Although this wasn’t the first spark in the gay rights movement, it fully ignited the flame that would eventually lead to same-sex marriage being legalized in the United States.
Today, the LGBTQ community celebrates throughout June to honor the people who participated in the groundbreaking Stonewall Riots. Pride Month is also used to call attention to current activism topics that affect the entire community. Additionally, a large emphasis is placed on raising awareness and trying to cultivate a nationwide culture of inclusivity and acceptance for LGBTQ individuals.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama formally acknowledged Pride Month during their time in office. Meanwhile, current President Donald J. Trump hasn’t officially mentioned LGBTQ Pride Month since taking office, as reported by NBC News.
Instead, the Trump Administration has stood in opposition to many LGBTQ rights issues, including President Trump’s decision to sign a ban intended to prevent any transgender people from serving in the military, as reported by the BBC. The Justice Department also tried unsuccessfully to sway a federal judge into allowing employers to legally discriminate against LGBTQ employees, per the New York Times. Trump did court LGBTQ voters in 2016, as Quartz reported, but only one year later, he spoke at an anti-LGBT rally, as Indy100 reported.
These political issues are a hot button topic for this year’s Pride Month. Pride Parades nationwide are virtually certain to contain numerous protest signs in response to the Trump Administration’s policies. Some of the nation’s biggest parades will take place in Los Angeles (June 10), San Francisco (June 24), and New York City (June 24). Washington, D.C. will also host the Capital Pride Parade on June 9.
New York City is well-poised to be the leader for LGBTQ Pride Month 2018. A diverse list of events will be open to community members and their supportive loved ones, including a large Pride Island concert featuring Kylie Minogue and Tove Lo. No matter where you are, though, you should be able to find a local LGBTQ Pride Month event sometime during June.