Pride Through The Years

The origin of Pride Month



A truck drives downtown for the Grayslake Pride Parade 2022

Trinity Kellogg, Staff Reporter

Pride Month is less than month away, starting on Thursday, June 1. Pride Month is a month dedicated to celebration and commemoration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride. Pride Month was conceived on June 28th, 1970, a year after the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969, after New York City police entered Stonewall Inn, a gay bar, armed with a warrant for and beat patrons, arrested 13 people, including employees, and people violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute. Female police officers took suspected “cross-dressing” patrons to the bathroom and violated them by checking their genitals.

Queer patrons of the Stonewall Inn and allies conducted spontaneous protests after this initial raid, which we now refer to as the Stonewall Riots. The first pride marches were held in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Thousands of LGBTQ+ people joined together to commemorate Stonewall and protest for equal rights. At the November 1969 E.R.C.H.O (Eastern Regional
Conference of Homophile Organizations) meeting which is an organization for US gay rights, the group proposed a demonstration be held annually on the last saturday of June in New York City on the street where the Stonewall Riot took place. They then formed the Christopher Street Liberation Day Umbrella Committee. The committee aimed to hold one massive march at the cumulation of Gay Pride Week (June 22-28). Other cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago quickly started planning for the next year, and soon other states and countries also began their own annual Pride traditions. Ever since June 1970, LGBTQ+ people have gathered together in June to march with pride.

Although Pride Month is all about showing pride in who you are. Stonewall was just one example of the prejudice against LGBTQ+ people and this prejudice still goes on today. There have been many
anti-LGBTQ+ bills being passed that affect many LGBTQ+ people in the United States, young and old.

An anonymous LBGTQ-identifying Grayslake Central senior said “ I think that it’s terrible and it’s honestly frightening. Our government and society – I thought we were making such big efforts to be truly inclusive, but now it’s like we took five steps forward, only to take 50 steps backwards. Even from just a human standpoint, we are denying people to be who they are and it’s scary with just how one signature, people’s lives could be at risk.”

Studies have shown 20.1% of hate crimes committed in 2022 were against LGBTQ people, with sexual orientation being the second highest reason for reported hate crimes. The process of coming out and having pride in who you are is a very difficult thing especially with the hate against the LGBTQ+ community recently. The act of outing someone can put them in great danger and takes away the sense of them doing it on their own terms instead of somebody elses. Which is why we have Pride Month, to celebrate being who we are with no judgement of those around us. People who are still not out to their parents or friends, are still questioning their sexuality/ gender, or have changed their sexuality and/or gender over time are still valid. It’s very important to consider others in times like these.