Gay Pride – LGBTQ

Gay pride is a movement created to bring awareness and understanding to the gay community.

It is a movement that promotes dignity and equality to a group of people whose sexual orientation have long been suppressed, ridiculed and misunderstood.

The purpose is to embrace pride in who you are and to take away the shame associated with being gay.

The Gay Pride Movement

The term LGBTQ is straightforward and it refers to a person’s sexual orientation. The letters stand for lesbian, ay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning

For many decades the LGBTQ community was shunned and closeted away. It was illegal for them to gather in public places or to show their emotions towards their partners. Laws were invoked There were laws that banned sex and marriage between same sex couples.

As a result this caused them to go underground.

Of course we all know what lurks underground!

Before 1966 it was illegal to serve openly gay individuals alcohol in New York state.

According to law it was “disorderly” for homosexuals to blatantly gather in public.

Certainly, it is well known The Mafia were the kingpins of illegal activities in the 50″‘s and 60’s. And another opportunity has just come their way.

Consequently they decided to open several gay bars.

This meant that the Mafia could fill their coffers and at the same time they provide a place where the LGBTQ community could gather and pursue same sex relationships.

The Mafia are credited with operating some of the first gay bars.

Activists rallied and they had this law overturned. Subsequently making it legal for the LGBTQ community to patronize bars.

However, it was still illegal for the tohemengage in any form of touching of physical contact with their same sex partner.

The Stonewall Riots

In Greenwich Village, New York one such bar was the Stonewall Inn. It had the notoriety of being a popular gathering spot for the LGBT community. Because these gatherings were illegal it was common place for it to be raided by the police.

On June 28th, 1969 police once again raided the infamous bar. They arrested both employees and patrons.

An angry mob of patrons and street people gathered outside the bar. Tensions were mounting as they witnessed the arrests. Overcome with anger they fought back. This resulted in mayhem and a riot soon ensued. News of the riot soon made the headlines and people became outraged at the inequality of the law.

This led to the first large scale uprising of gay activists. The gay movement quickly spread and soon gay rights activists formed organizations and events around the world.

It also paved the way for new activist organizations to emerge, fighting to promote rights for their gay and lesbian community. They were fighting to be granted the right to live openly in their communities without fear of repression and repercussion.

A year after the uprising on June 28, 1970 a parade commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots was held in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

This led to many parades and rallies and started to give the LGBT community the strength to promote and fight for their rights and freedoms.

They wanted to be free to let people know and understand who they are.

Gay Pride is a rainbow of colors

Each color in the pride rainbow holds a special significance.

  • Red – Life
  • Orange – Healing
  • Yellow – Sun
  • Green – Nature

Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man designed the first rainbow flag in 1978 as a symbol to celebrate and honor the gay community.

The rainbow symbol is now widely used on flags, sidewalks, t shirts, mugs and bumper stickers. Crosswalks are painted like rainbows in many communities to celebrate the gay pride movement.

“Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts”~ Barbara Gittings

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