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History of Pride

YSJSU
History of Pride

History of Pride 

Pride is held every year to commemorate the riots that occurred June 28th, 1969, at the Stone Wall Inn in New York. The riots lasted six days and spanned a wider space than just the Stone Wall Inn, but June 28th at the Stone Wall was where things began. There was conflict and turmoil, both within the LGBTQ+ community, which was just beginning to form, and with those oppressing them. The most notable thing though was a sense of change and community. Many of those interviewed in the documentary we mentioned before noted that suddenly they did not feel so alone.  

The very first Pride was in 1970, one year after the riots. That first Pride had a vastly different feel from the Pride celebrations of today. After the riots, LGBTQ+ people began to band together, form organizations and groups, and feel like they had others to turn to, support networks. The Stone Wall Riots were the catalyst that began a movement. 

At the time of Stone Wall, the concept of being “out” as a gay person was unheard of. The scorn and very real threat of injury or even death meant LGBTQ+ people had to live in constant fear. 

While we know we still have a long way to go towards equality for all genders and people, it is important to take time to remember where we came from and what progress we have made. Even if we still have a lot of work to do, it is heartening to consider how things have improved, and important to remember how far we can fall. 

That sense of community is what Pride is all about. It is about people coming together in love and friendship. It was this community that led to monumental changes in the ways we treat LGBTQ+ people. Banding together, LGBTQ+ groups and those who support them have made huge gains in social, political, and legal treatment of LGBTQ+ people. 

Why This is All So Important 

In a cultural climate of division and conflict, it is important to remember how much better we can be when we come together. Remembering the past, learning from it, and coming together to support each other builds pathways to new and better progress. 

Although the Pride movement has helped to spark huge changes since the early 1970s, it still has plenty to fight for. 71 countries still class same-sex relations as illegal— 11 can issue the death penalty for the offence (including Iran, Yemen, and Sudan), while dozens more can hand out prison sentences.  

Anti-trans bathroom bills, workplace discrimination and the fight for same-sex marriage are just some of the issues facing the LGBTQ community in various parts of the Western world. 

Seeing the group grow and grow, the support for each other grows and grow, is what Pride is all about. There is strength in numbers. There is power in having support for each other and Pride in each other. 

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