🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈

This is a repeat of last year’s Pride Month post with only slight modifications.  Today, with so many states attempting to push the LGBTQ community into obscurity,  think it is more important than ever that we remember the fight for LGBTQ rights which I often compare to the fight for Black rights in this country.  There is a reason we have Black History Month and Pride Month … to remember that we are all the same in far more ways than we are different, that we are all in the fight for life together.  We all have feelings, stengths & weaknesses, and nobody is ‘superior’ by virtue of the gender or colour.

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 three 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 years 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!


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

    • Thank you!!! I read tonight that 30 members of a white supremacist group were arrested as they headed to a Pride celebration with the intent of causing murder and mayhem. While I’m glad they were arrested before they could carry out their plan, how many more are out there? And WHY? Why sould anybody care who another person chooses to love? Sigh. Thanks again! 🌈 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hello Jill. As an open gay man for all but my high school years and sort of not quite out during my time in the military back in the 1980’s, I thank you for this post. I have been beaten at some my jobs for being gay, I have been denied promotion even after scoring the highest on the promotion tests because my employer said no one if going to take orders from a fagot, I have had people with multiple marriages tell me my 32 year steady relationship with my husband is an afront to their god.

    One thing Jill I hope you will look into and address is the attempt by the radical right Republican leaders to follow Russia’s example and simply outlaw the LGBTQ+. In Russia the gay / LGBTQ+ were gaining a lot of acceptance, it was becoming normal for them in the new democracy. Then the church worked with the new upcoming dictator Putin to back him if he made that acceptance stop. He did. They forced through laws that made any positive display or mention of LGBTQ+ / being gay illegal and forbidden in public. They used the excuse that it was to protect the children. Because everyone knew and it was pushed by the government / state TV that gays were predators out to groom and molest all the kids. Male kids specifically. (That the religious organizations were doing this was ignored) But the state kept pushing that the gays / rainbow flag / LGBTQ+ were the worst things ever. Acceptance of gay people tanked, and the most horrible abuse came out on video of gay people. Now gays don’t exist in Russia because they are illegal. If you are subjected of being gay you are an outcast, and your family is encouraged to kill you. Look at what Putin strong man leader of Chechnya has done to wipe out gays.

    That is what the right wing in the US wants to do here. They learned. Rabid right Republicans supported by the religious right like DeathSantis are outlawing any mention of LGBTQ+ in school, any books about or with LGBTQ+ characters, even going after a major movie company because they have sort of gay characters in their movies. And it is spreading to other red states. They are trying to do what happened in Russia and in China. Make the LGBTQ+ go way by making any positive mention of them illegal and then constantly talk of how they are bad, they are groomers, they are coming for your children right now. Turn the now positive public sentiment against the LGBTQ+.

    They started with the smallest of the group and the most vulnerable, the trans kids. They made even going to the bathroom for these kids an issue. A trans kid is going to assault your kid in the bathroom rather than take a leak. A trans kid is going to steal all the athletic awards your kid might have wanted, except that is not happening. But they are pushing it as real. Then they moved on to the rest of the LGBTQ+ by calling teachers groomers for simply letting kids know that other kinds of families exist than the straight mommy /daddy ones. Oh the horror of indoctrinations, next they will teach them evolution. Does it become clear the demonization of a minority group to create an enemy for the majority? Where have we seen this before? And how did that end for the minority?

    Thanks, Jill, for the post. It is important for any minority to know they have support from some of the majority so they know not all is lost. Together we stand or surely we will fall separately to the forces against the liberty to lead your life not harming anyone else and in freedom. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear Scottie … my heart breaks for all that you have been through in your life. I will, I promise, make it a point to look into what the radical right is attempting to do to dehumanize the LGBTQ community or make them simply disappear. I was only aware of a bit of it, such as your own state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, but I have added this to my project list and will take it up sometime during Pride Month!

      Thanks for your kind words and support, Scottie! I plan to make this an annual post for as many years as I live and am able to maintain this blog, for I think it is every bit as important and relevant as Black History Month. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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

  3. Pingback: CELEBRATING PRIDE MONTH — PART 1. |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  4. Jill, thanks for repeating this. I looked again this morning, but the Golden Rule espoused by Jesus in Christian bibles and which appears in some form in other religious texts, has no caveats. It does not say “treat others like you want to be treated…unless they look differently, worship differently, or love differently. ” Those words with “unless” are not found in English interpretations.

    At the end of the day, whether someone is LGBTQ+ does not impact others unless they are lover of said person. The Supreme Court called this “no standing.” Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • I sometimes suspect, as I listen to some espouse what they believe is in the bible, that there are many different versions that have been written to appease certain sets of beliefs and also prejudices. Else it’s just that different sects interpret the document in whatever manner seems to please their congregations most. It seems that people like being prejudiced, like feeling ‘superior’ based on irrelevant criteria such as skin colour, gender preferences, religious beliefs, political party, or even body shape. Sigh. Is there hope for the human species to ever learn? The older I get, the more I see, the more doubtful I am.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.