When President Bill Clinton announced that June of 2000 would be “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” it was an open acknowledgement of the celebrations that had been held worldwide since 1970. The US federal government had taken a clear stance, headed by the President, on gay pride month. Why is it in June when National Coming Out Day is October 11th?
Look Back to 1969
Historical records argue, but the police raid which took place on June 28, 1969 on the Stonewall Inn was reputed to be legitimate as the location had been reported as being affiliated with the Mafia as well as selling alcohol without a liquor license. It was, however, the latest raid in a history of police raids specifically targeting gay bars and tensions were already running high.
When the police raided the Stonewall Inn and demanded all the patrons present identification and to be prepared for arrest if they were dressed in drag or, in case of men present, impersonating women. Delays on transporting arrested individuals and a gathering crowd resulted in the Stonewall Riots. This is largely considered the turning point in the gay pride movement.
Nearly Fifty Years Later
Although acknowledgement of the changes that began in 1969 was being celebrated as early as 1970, Gay Pride wasn’t always the public affair it’s become. Only as tolerance, understanding and acceptance spread—including support from heterosexual and cisgender allies—have pride parades and celebrations become local gatherings and expressions of support.
June has become a month of LGBT Pride and a time to show support to a community of individuals who are taking a stand to show the world that they’re as normal as the traditionally perceived genders and sexualities. Albuquerque, New Mexico’s LGBTIQ association, Albuquerque Pride, has set Saturday, June 13, 2015 as the date for the June Pride Parade.
Come join hundreds of individuals in celebrating our differences and embracing our similarities!