If you haven’t heard or seen by now it is June, which means its Pride Month! Pride is celebrated every June as a tribute to those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
LGBT is an acronym meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The term sometimes is extended to LGBTQ, or even LGBTQIA, to include queer, intersex and asexual groups.
In 1978, artist and designer Gilbert Baker was commissioned by San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk -- one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US -- to make a flag for the city's upcoming Pride celebrations. Baker, a prominent gay rights activist, gave a nod to the stripes of the American flag but drew inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the many groups within the gay community.
A subset of flags represent other sexualities on the spectrum, such as bisexual, pansexual and asexual.
Now for a bit of history for you. 28th June 1969 the police raided a gay club called the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, NYC which resulted in staff, bar patrons and neighbourhood residents rioting onto Christopher Street which was outside the club. Amongst the many leaders of the riots was a African-American gay man and drag artist; Marsha P. Johnson who led the movement to continue over six days with clashes and protests.
Tensions quickly escalated as patrons resisted arrest and a growing crowd of bystanders threw bottles and coins at the officers. New York's gay community, fed up after years of harassment by authorities, erupted in neighborhood riots that went on for three+ days.
The uprising became a catalyst for an emerging gay rights movement as organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance were formed, modeled after the civil rights movement and the women's rights movement. Members held protests, met with political leaders and interrupted public meetings to hold those leaders accountable.
A year after the Stonewall riots, the nation's first Gay Pride marches were held.
In 2016 the area around the Stonewall Inn, still a popular nightspot today, was designated a national monument.
Pride Month By The Numbers:
52% – the percentage of LGBTQ people who’ve experienced depression recently.
1 in 8 – the number of LGBTQ people who have experienced unequal treatment from healthcare staff.
46% – the percentage of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who are open about their sexual orientation with their family.
4.1% – the estimated percentage of women who identify as LGBT.
350,000 – the number of people in the LGBTQ community that are transgender women.
1 in 5 – the number of LGBTQ women living in poverty.
43% – the percentage of LGBTQ employees who haven’t revealed their orientation at work.
50% – the percentage of LGBTQ workers who recently got federal protection from discrimination.
10% – the amount of time LGBT workers spend hiding their identities.
<$12,000 – the annual income earned by 22% of LGBTQ people.
(Source: https://nationaltoday.com/pride-month/ )
Homosexuality still remains illegal in 70 countries and is punishable by death in 11 of those.
The recent 2021 UK Census, held in March, asked a question on sexuality and gender identity for the first time ever.
Keep being an ally for your local community and don't ever stop supporting as we still have a long way to go.
Marsha P Johnson 24 Aug 1945 - 06 Jul 1992.