Pride Month is celebrated every June as a tribute to those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots. With parades, festivals, and concerts going on across the globe, there’s always some way for you to get involved — as well as learn some important social history along the way.
WHEN IS PRIDE DAY 2021?
As a sub-holiday during Pride Month, Pride Day is celebrated on June 28. The day marks the date in history when the first pride march was held in New York City in 1970. However, different communities celebrate Pride Day on different days throughout June.
HISTORY OF PRIDE MONTH
On a hot summer’s night in New York on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, which resulted in bar patrons, staff, and neighborhood residents rioting onto Christopher Street outside. Among the many leaders of the riots was a black, trans, bisexual woman, Marsha P. Johnson, leading the movement to continue over six days with protests and clashes. The message was clear — protestors demanded the establishment of places where LGBT+ people could go and be open about their sexual orientation without fear of arrest.
Pride Month is largely credited as being started by bisexual activist Brenda Howard. Known as ‘The Mother of Pride,’ Brenda organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade a year after the Stonewall Riots. This eventually morphed into what we now know as the New York City Pride March and was the catalyst for the formation of similar parades and marches across the world.
Speaking of the rainbow flag, it was actually gay politician Harvey Milk who asked a talented designer friend, Gilbert Baker, to design an all-encompassing symbol to take to San Francisco’s Pride March in 1978. Sadly, Harvey Milk was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone on November 23, 1978, in San Francisco City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former supervisor who was angry at Milk for lobbying against having him reappointed on the Board of Supervisors.
Bill Clinton was the first U.S. President to officially recognize Pride Month in 1999 and 2000. Then, from 2009 to 2016, Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month. In May 2019, Donald Trump recognized Pride Month with a tweet announcing that his administration had launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality, although critics have noted that actions speak louder than words.
The New York Pride Parade is one of the largest and most well-known parades to take place, with over 2 million people estimated to have taken part in 2019.
Pride Month Timeline
TRADITIONS FOR PRIDE MONTH
Pride Month is for everyone to embrace who they are and let the world know — in style! The rainbow aptly signifies the colorful activities and flavors of this month-long celebration. These include massive rallies, pride parades, parties, workshops, concerts, and countless more LGBTQ+ events to attract participants from all over.
Commemorations and memorials are also held for members of the community who have lost their lives to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS. Campaigns and rallies aim to promote and preserve the history and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
PRIDE MONTH BY THE NUMBERS
52% – the percentage of LGBTQ people who’ve experienced depression recently.
1 in 8 – the number of LGBTQ people who have experienced unequal treatment from healthcare staff.
46% – the percentage of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people who are open about their sexual orientation with their family.
4.1% – the estimated percentage of women who identify as LGBT.
350,000 – the number of people in the LGBTQ community that are transgender women.
1 in 5 – the number of LGBTQ women living in poverty.
43% – the percentage of LGBTQ employees who haven’t revealed their orientation at work.
50% – the percentage of LGBTQ workers who recently got federal protection from discrimination.
10% – the amount of time LGBT workers spend hiding their identities.
<$12,000 – the annual income earned by 22% of LGBTQ people.
CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH IN IOWA CITY
Iowa City will be celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with events and more throughout the month.
The annual Pride parade and festival, organized by the local nonprofit Iowa City Pride, will be hosted Oct. 1 and 2, 2021. This is traditionally a June event, but was delayed due to the pandemic. For more information on Iowa City Pride, visit their website.
Throughout the month of June, the Pride Flag will be flying above City Hall and City Park Pool. Banners celebrating Pride will also be seen in Downtown Iowa City, and lighting on the Pedestrian Mall stage and Public Works building will be set to Pride colors.
The Iowa City Public Library and the City’s Office of Equity and Human Rights will be hosting Pride-themed events, including craft projects for kids and teens, as well as a virtual screening and discussion of the documentary “Stonewall Forever.” Those interested can register for the screening through Zoom.
For a list of Pride events, both City-sponsored and others throughout the community, visit icgov.org/Pride2021.