WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT? A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
Gay pride or LGBTQ pride refers to the principle that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
There are three primary facets to pride:
- People should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
- That diversity is a gift.
- Sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered.
The use of the term pride originated with the idea that the word be used as an antonym (meaning; opposite in meaning) for shame. This is because shame has been used to control and oppress queer people. Pride is an affirmation of one’s self and the community as a whole.
Today’s gay pride movement started as a result of the Stonewall riots in New York City in the late 1960’s. The Stonewall riots were a series of sometimes violent demonstrations against the New York police after a raid of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969. Stonewall Inn catered to a variety of clientele, but it was well known to be popular with the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: effeminate young men, drag queens, representatives of a newly self-aware transgender community, homeless youth and hustlers. After Stonewall, the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance formed and are credited as being the first organizations to start the gay rebellion and gay pride parades. One year after the raid, the first pride parades were held in Los Angeles and New York in commemorating the anniversary of Stonewall. Since that time June has been recognized by many LGBTQ2+ communities around the world as Gay Pride Month.
Some symbols of gay pride include the rainbow flag
butterfly, the Greek lambda symbol
and pink and black triangles.
Pink and black triangles became gay pride symbols because during the Nazi era in Germany gay men were marked with a pink triangle and lesbians were marked with a black triangle. Gays and Lesbians were sent to concentration camps along with Jews and others who the Nazi’s tried to eradicate during their reign over Germany. These symbols are recognized around the world as homage to LGBTQ pride and despite many hurdles, opposition and hate, the LGBTQ community has remained resilient, continuing to fight for their rights and show their pride.