June is celebrated as LGBTQ+ Pride Month internationally. It was first officially recognized in America in 2002 when President Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month,” but the name has since changed to be more inclusive of the whole community, and is now referred to as “LGBTQ+ Pride Month” or simply “Pride Month.”
However, Pride was celebrated long before that first official declaration, and the month of June does not commemorate that declaration, but the Stonewall Riots. In late June of 1969, patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York rioted when police attempted to raid the well-known LGBTQ+ bar. At the time police raided the Stonewall Inn, and other LGBTQ+ bars frequently; during the raids members of the LGBTQ+ community faced discrimination and brutality at the hands of law enforcement. The rebellion sparked about five more nights of protests, growing larger each night. Two prominent leaders in the Stonewall Riots were Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two transgender people of color who went on to form groups such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), and became icons in LGBTQ+ history. This Pride Month marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots have been widely deemed as the first pride, leading people to use the phrase “the first Pride was a riot,” to remember the accomplishments at Stonewall. The anniversary has been celebrated at Prides around the world, and will culminate in a special celebration at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on Sunday June 30, 2019.
Pride Month is celebrated in many ways internationally. Perhaps the most well known celebrations are Pride Parades and Festivals in cities of all sizes around the world. Harrisonburg is hosting the Shenandoah Valley Pride celebration on Saturday September 21, 2019. Pride is also celebrated with a heightened support and representation in the media and corporations. Many companies come forth with their support of the LGBTQ+ community, through donations to charity, partnerships with LGBTQ+ celebrities and organizations, more products geared towards the LGBTQ+ community, and more.
Here at Digital Minerva, Pride Month is very important to us. We are passionate about equality and acceptance in all ways. We are a company that welcomes all. It is also important to us to show our support for LGBTQ+ rights both in Virginia and nationally. So for the month of June, we decided to change our logo, to a rainbow version, incorporating the gay pride flag; read more about the history of the gay pride flag, or about all pride flags. Changing our branding for the month is a clear indication of our support of LGBTQ+ rights and Pride Month. Our Pride Month logo is present on our website and all of our social media channels for all to see.
It’s important to show support for the LGBTQ+ community all year long, not just in June. Here are just some of the many ways you can show support for the community:
- Vote for LGBTQ+ representatives, and representatives that support LGBTQ+ rights
- Don’t be a bystander to hate
- Listen to your LGBTQ+ friends, family, coworkers, etc.
- Support LGBTQ+ owned businesses
- Use correct pronouns and names at all times; and if you don’t know someone’s pronouns, it’s OK to ask, in fact it’s much preferred to misgendering someone
If you still have questions or are interested in learning more about the LGBTQ+ community, perhaps investigate these helpful resources: