LGBTQ+ Pride and History Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Americans. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged a series of spontaneous demonstrations against police harassment and violence, and is considered a watershed moment in a then-nascent gay liberation movement, which would grow increasingly visible and radical as a result of the riots’ aftermath.
Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.
LGBTQ+ History month is celebrated in October. In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
Gay and Lesbian History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association and other national organizations. In 2006 Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for LGBT History Month. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.