Pride Month Celebrations Start Around the World


Izzy Zarinana-Mahnke, Staff Writer

On June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City. Once the police became violent, LGBTQ+ members started fighting back, leading to what is now referred to as the Stonewall Riots. Even today, it is widely accepted that the Stonewall Riots was one of the most important factors that led to the gay liberation movement.

A year later, to celebrate the event, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, LGBTQ+ members gathered around the country, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, in what is referred to as the first gay pride march. 

In a Wikipedia article titled Gay Pride, it describes when June was offically declared Pride Month, “Three presidents of the United States have officially declared a pride month. First, President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999 and 2000. Then from 2009 to 2016, each year he was in office, President Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month. Later, President Joe Biden declared June LGBTQ+ Pride Month in 2021.”

Pride Month celebrates all members of the LGBTQ+ community, which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or as a more umbrella term, anyone who identifies as Queer or non-gender conforming. It is a month where the LGBTQ+ community can celebrate who they are and what they have accomplished over the years. Every year there are marches and outdoor events for the community and allies. 

Pride Month is usually accompanied by a great deal of rainbows, which has come to be known as the Pride symbol. In a People article titled Everything You Need to Know About Pride Month, it explains what the colors stand for, “In the widely known six-color flag, red is symbolic of life, orange is symbolic of spirit, yellow is sunshine, green is nature, blue represents harmony and purple is spirit.” They also explain what the original pride flag colors stand for, which was the six mentioned, plus hot pink and turquoise.

Pride Month means a great deal to a lot of people. To the LGBTQ+ community, it gives them a chance to be who they are. For allies, family members and friends, it allows them to show their support.

“Pride month means that I can be proud of who I’ve become and to really show it for an entire month versus being scared for the 11 other months of how people would react to me being myself,” junior Marianna DeJesus said.

Pride Month is important to celebrate and acknowledge for many reasons. Pride Month represents the struggles the LGBTQ+ community faces and has faced throughout history. It allows for self-acceptance, achievements and legal rights the community has obtained over the years. It is important to celebrate because it is acknowledging how the LGBTQ+ community has fought to be themselves, as well as recognizing past activists and people who lost their life for being who they are.

“I do think it is important to celebrate because it’s the one month where everyone doesn’t have to be scared to show their true colors,” DeJesus said.

In honor of Pride Month many companies change their logo to include a rainbow and sell Pride merchandise. However, an article on CNBC written by Abigail Johnson Hess, discusses how some people feel that a simple rainbow logo change isn’t enough and how LGBTQ+ workers feel how Pride celebrations fall short.

In the article they interviewed Scott Dobrokski, who is described as the vice president of corporate communications for Glassdoor, as well as a member of the organization’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. Dobrokski says, “While many companies will turn their logos and social profiles to rainbows for Pride Month, creating a more equitable company is more than just symbolic or superficial moves. It’s about action. A rainbow logo isn’t enough.”

The article also describes discrimination and harassment in the workplace and what LGBTQ+ workers have to deal with.

However, there are many events throughout the month of June taking place in Milwaukee, as a celebration of Pride Month. Like Milwaukee LGBT Community Center is putting on multiple events throughout the course of the month(for mainly 18+) that allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together and share their experiences. The Iron Horse Hotel hosted a Pride Month Brunch June 6, and the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project is holding a tour of Milwaukee’s first and second, “gayborhoods”, June 12.

Pride Month means a lot to many people and it allows them to celebrate who they truly are. As Audre Lorde once said, “We are powerful because we have survived.”