Pride – LGBTQ

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. Pride rather than shame.

LGBTQ

The term LGBTQ is straightforward and refers to a person’s sexual orientation. It stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning

For many decades the LGBTQ community were shunned and closeted away. It was illegal for them to gather in public places or show their emotions towards their partners. There were laws that banned sex and marriage between same sex couples. This caused them to go underground and in the 50’s and 60’s because it was illegal, the mafia took that opportunity to open gay bars.

Before 1966 it was illegal to serve alcohol in New York state to openly gay individuals claiming that it was “disorderly” for homosexuals to gather. Activists rallied and had this law overturned but it was still illegal for LGBT patrons to engage in any form of touching or physical contact. Thus giving cause for police to often raid gay bars and arrest and evict its patrons and staff.

Stonewall Riots

In Greenwich Village, New York one of these bars was the Stonewall Inn. It became a popular gathering spot for the LGBT community and it was common place for it to be raided by police.

On June 28th, 1969 police once again raided the bar, arresting employees and patrons. A large group of patrons and street people gathered outside the bar, tensions were high and they decided to fight back. This led to the first large scale uprising of gay activists. It paved the way for new activist organizations to emerge, fighting to promote rights for their gay, lesbian community. They were fighting to be granted the right to live openly in their communities without fear of repercussion.

A year after the uprising on June 28, 1970 a parade commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots were held in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. The movement quickly spread and soon gay rights activists formed organizations around the world. 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 were free to let people know and understand who they are.

Pride 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. It is now widely used on flags, sidewalks, t shirts, mugs and bumper stickers.

“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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