🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈

My posts are usually geared toward socio-political issues such as racism & bigotry, politics, the environment, etc., but every now and then there is something that takes precedence over all those things — they will still be here tomorrow, right?  Today, I am dedicating Filosofa’s Word, as I have for the past two years, to Pride Month.  Quick question:  do you know what PRIDE stands for?  I’m ashamed to say that I did not know until a few days ago that it stands for Personal Rights In Defense and Education.  Makes perfect sense, don’t you think?  The fight to be recognized and accepted has been an ongoing battle for decades, perhaps longer, and while we have made progress, today there are states such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and others that have either passed or are preparing bills that would legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

The following is Part I of a post I wrote for PRIDE Month in 2019 and reprised in 2020.  I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, and frankly when I read over this post, except for a few minor adjustments, I didn’t think I could do any better if I started over.  Part II will be on the schedule for later this afternoon.  Meanwhile, to all my friends in the LGBTQ community … I wish you a heartfelt Happy PRIDE Month!


Pride-month-3June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the impact LGBTQ people have had in the world.  I see Pride Month in much the same way I see February’s Black History Month.  It is a way to honour or commemorate those who rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and are often discriminated against, simply because they are LGBTQ, or Black, in the case of Black History Month.  A bit of history …

The Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was owned by the Genovese crime family, and in 1966, three members of the Genovese family invested $3,500 to turn the Stonewall Inn into a gay bar, after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a police officer would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff, as the Stonewall Inn had no liquor license and thus was operating outside the law.  It was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed; dancing was its main draw since its re-opening as a gay club.

At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, two patrol officers in uniform, and Detective Charles Smythe and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine arrived at the Stonewall Inn’s double doors and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!”  Approximately 205 people were in the bar that night. Patrons who had never experienced a police raid were confused. A few who realized what was happening began to run for doors and windows in the bathrooms, but police barred the doors.

Standard procedure was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any men dressed as women would be arrested. Those dressed as women that night refused to go with the officers. Men in line began to refuse to produce their identification. The police decided to take everyone present to the police station, after separating those cross-dressing in a room in the back of the bar.

Long story short, a few patrons were released before the patrol wagons arrived to cart the rest off to jail, and those few stayed out front, attracted quite a large crowd, mostly LGBT people, and after an officer hit a woman over the head for saying her handcuffs were too tight, the crowd went into fight mode.  By this time, the police were outnumbered by some 600 people.  Garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks were hurled at the building, breaking the windows.  The mob lit garbage on fire and stuffed it through the broken windows.  Police tried to use water hoses to disperse the crowd, but there was no water pressure.  Police pulled their weapons, but before they could fire them, the Tactical Patrol Force and firefighters arrived.  The crowd mocked and fought against the police, who began swinging their batons right and left, not much caring who they hit or where.

The crowd was cleared by 4:00 a.m., but the mood remained dark, and the next night, rioting resumed with thousands of people showing up at the Stonewall, blocking the streets.  Police responded, and again it was 4:00 a.m. before the mob was cleared.

There comes a point when people who are mistreated, abused, discriminated against, have had enough.  It is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, the treatment of people who were only out to enjoy the night, was that straw.  It was a history making night, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for the nation.pride-month-stonewall.jpgWithin six months of the Stonewall riots, activists started a citywide newspaper called Gay; they considered it necessary because the most liberal publication in the city—The Village Voice—refused to print the word “gay”.  Two other newspapers were initiated within a six-week period: Come Out! and Gay Power; the readership of these three periodicals quickly climbed to between 20,000 and 25,000.  Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) was formed with a constitution that began …

“We as liberated homosexual activists demand the freedom for expression of our dignity and value as human beings.”

I think that says it all, don’t you?  ‘Dignity and value as human beings’.  It is, in my book, a crying shame that our society needs to be reminded that we are all human beings, that we all have value and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago, these were the first Gay Pride marches in U.S. history. The next year, Gay Pride marches took place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm.  The Stonewall riots are considered the birth of the gay liberation movement and of gay pride on a massive scale.  The event has been likened to the Boston Tea Party, and Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus.  All of those were people’s way of saying, “We’ve had enough!”

2019 marked the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid and ensuing riots, and at long last, the New York City Police Department apologized to the LGBTQ community.  “The actions taken by the NYPD [at Stonewall] were wrong, plain and simple,” police commissioner James O’Neill said.  He also noted that the frequent harassment of LGBTQ men and women and laws that prohibited same-sex sexual relations are “discriminatory and oppressive” and apologized on behalf of the department.

President Bill Clinton first declared June to be National Pride Month in 1999, and again in 2000.  On June 1, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the White House would not formally recognize Pride Month.  Every year that President Barack Obama was in office, he declared June to be LGBT Pride Month.  Donald Trump ignored it in throughout his tenure and blocked the display of the Pride flag at all U.S. embassies.  This year, President Biden recognized Pride Month, saying he “will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”

“”During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.”

Since this post turned into a history lesson, I wrote a second post to highlight some of the celebrations, the fun ways that people celebrate pride month, the people and organizations that are supporting Pride Month, and to honour the LGBTQ community, but I felt the history was important also, so … stay tuned for Part II later this afternoon!

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52 thoughts on “🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈

  1. Pingback: 🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈 – 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐞𝟏𝐨

  2. Pingback: 🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating Pride Month – Part II 🏳️‍🌈 | Filosofa's Word

    • That was great, Michael!!! Y’know … I think I could actually do that! I’m gonna try it later today (bedtime comes first, though)! Thank you!!! I’ll let you know how I do! xx

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  3. Pingback: 🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈 – Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

    • …and sent the video to students of the LGBTQ2S+ orientation. The students burning the flag could be heard laughing in the background. Apparently when the school found out about it they learned who the students were (no names given) and expelled them from classes for 5 days.
      This is not a fitting punishment. They should have been made to sit in a classroom for 5 days and forced to watch training videos about the history of PRIDE, all the ways people of different orientations help make the world a better place to live, and to publicly apologize to every student to whom they sent their hate video.
      I have never understood why principals and school boards think expelling students from classes think that is a punishment. It is more a reverse reward. No school for a week! Hip hip hooray!

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      • I would have kicked them out and made them repeat the entire year … perhaps that might have made them think twice before acting on their homophobic whims again!

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        • No. No. No. No. No! No!
          Kicking kids out of school is not a punishment. They don’t want to be there in the first place. It gives them time to be on the streets more, where they learn more interesting things than school can give them.
          Never kick a kid out of school!
          In school you can make their life hell, or you can help them to understand how to be better people. And at the same time, help protect them from their parents’ outdated ideas.

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      • The good old ‘Name, Shame and Publish photos’ is a fitting punishment . No it doesn’t do a lot for their ‘healing process’ but there’s nothing like a bit of deterrent and retribution to shake up the system.
        As the old saying (on this side of the pond goes)
        ‘POUR ENCOURAGER LES AUTRES’

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        • Sorry, Roger, but here we differ. I do not like the idea of punishment. Shame and blame come after the fact. They are not deterrents. Respect and responsibility come before the fact. Help people to learn those tools, and the need for shame and blame never appear.
          In my own life, which was full of punishments, that only taught me to be better at not being caught, so that I could avoid punishment. I got really good at that.
          But as I grew up, I learned that all I was doing was harming people or other living beings in some way or other. I decided not to do that anymore. Rather, I learned to take responsibility for my actions, which led me to stop harming others. I learned to respect others (except DJT, who deserves no respect), no matter what they did. That gave me great peace of mind. I no longer seek to punish.

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          • And I respect your opinion and applaud your rising above your experiences.
            My outlook is different and experiences, as well as observations should have taught me better. But…….
            I’ll still the old welsh socialist.
            And it’s just as well I never went into politics, who knows what harm would have been done.

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          • But then, as we have discussed before, you trust people to act according to their consciences, you believe a system sans law enforcement, sans governance, could work. I don’t. I think people are basically greedy creatures who will hurt others if it brings them pleasure and punishment works fine for me if they remember it the next time they are tempted to be little assholes.

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            • Close, but not quite, Jill. I believe people can be brought up to act for the good of all life–I do not believe in consciences as such. As for punishment, no. If they are not doing something because the last time they did it they did not like the punishment, that fear will wear off in time.
              As I have said many times, bring children up to have respect for all others, and to take responsibility for their actions or non-actions, and they will be able to govern themselves.
              But for some reason humans refuse to take the easy way. They like to make things difficult for everyone.

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              • First, you have to have parents who have values and compassion in order to raise children to have the same. Half the people in this nation are without values or compassion. And even then, some children will rebel, will find a reason to believe themselves superior in one way or another. Humans are flawed creatures. We cannot simply let everyone ‘do their thing’ which in some cases will include murdering Black people just because they are different. Human nature cannot be allowed free rein, else we will all perish within two generations!

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                • Ah, Jill, we will come come to an agreement on this. I see what humans can be capable of, while you see what we have become because parents do such shitty jobs raising their children the way they were raised. As you said in your comment on Teach Your Children, we need to break that cycle. That is why we need to change the nuclear family. It does not work!

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    • I just read about that yesterday! What a horrible thing! And they got the same punishment that the students doing a mockery of George Floyd’s murder here got … a slap on the wrist and time off for bad behaviour. Where were the parents? What did they say about their ‘little darlings’ engaging in such homophobic behaviour? Sigh. The world is a mess. Humans are a disaster. Sigh.

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  4. Thank you for sharing!!… I think every day should be PRIDE day and everyone should be proud of who they are!!… as Popeye the sailor said “I yam what I yam and that is all that I yam”… 🙂

    “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary” (Steve Jobs)… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    There are good ships and there a wood ships
    The ships that sail the sea,
    But the best ships are friendships
    And may they always be!
    (Irish Saying)

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    • I fully agree, my friend, like I think every month should be Black History Month! We have some very dark periods in our history and the only way to offset them is to shine a light on them, show the people of this nation how utterly ridiculous it is to judge people by gender orientation, skin colour, religion, or anything else! Heh heh … I use that Popeye quote often! And thank you, Dutch, for being such a great friend, and as always, for the Irish Saying!

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    • My pleasure! I think it’s important to understand the history so we can better understand why the PRIDE movement is so important today, just like understanding the history of slavery and Jim Crow, so we can better understand Black Lives Matter. Anyone who is different in any way has likely experienced some discrimination … we need to find a way to put an end to that!

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  5. Jill, thanks for sharing this. While it saddened me, some folks boycotted a bakery in Texas for echoing positive sentiments for the PRIDE month, it cheered me when folks from around the world bought out their inventory in the next two days to make up for it. Keith

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    • I read about that and plan to include it in Part II if I can get that finished. That some folks boycotted is maddening, but I was chuffed by the number of people that made up for it! Interestingly, we ordered takeout tonight from TGI Friday’s and on their menu they had Pride cake! I was all set to order at least three pieces, or possibly the entire cake and share it with the neighbors. Until I saw the price! $10 for one slice, $75 for the whole cake!

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  6. I wish my sisters and brothers in the Gay Movement well all the year round. I hope they can teach the rest of society how to rise up and say enough is enough, leave our votes alone. Start doing what is in our best interest and not what is politically expedient. The majority of people want the ‘For the People Act’ to pass so stop blocking it.
    Cwtch

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