June is Pride Month and this year it commemorates 50 years since the Stonewall riots in Manhattan. Each year pride events are held across the nation to celebrate the progress of the LGBTQ community as well as bring awareness to how far we still have to go to achieve full equality.
Today, festivals and parades are a huge part of celebrating Pride but the 1969 Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement in the US. During the 1960’s police brutality and social discrimination was rampant and it was at Stonewall Inn that a huge uprising began where the people fought back and stood up for their basic human rights. Today millions of participants gather nationwide during Pride Month to honor that revolution. Memorials are held for those who have been lost to hate crime and HIV/AIDS and supporters of the movement use this time to spread awareness.
Currently, the battle for LGBTQ rights is all about legal reform that works to eliminate discrimination and encourage true equality. As of now, there is no federal law barring employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In 28 states, you can get fired for being lesbian, bisexual, or gay and in 30 states you can be fired for being transgender. The Gay Rights Movement is continuously working to change that!
Pride Parades and Pride Month are a way for the LGBTQ community to come together, recognize the history they have been a part of, and be out – together. Because after all,