Each June, around the world people dress in bright colors, hold parades, carry rainbow flags, and celebrate. You may have heard this referred to as Pride Month. But what is Pride Month, and why are these celebrations in June?
LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus) are people who express love or gender differently from others. In 1969, laws discriminated against many minorities, including LGBTQ+. People who loved members of the same gender could not get married, go out together, or even display affection in public. The police could arrest LGBTQ+ people for the clothes they wore. The police would often raid bars to arrest and harass people based on these laws. One night in June of 1969, the police raided a bar called the Stonewall Inn in New York City. They forced some people to leave. They arrested others.
People began to gather outside the bar. They were tired of being harassed. They were angry at how they were being treated. They began to fight back. For several days, the Stonewall Inn was the center of protests and violent clashes with the police. Some called it a riot [a violent disturbance from a crowd]. Others called it a revolt [an attempt to end something unfair by rebelling].
People who were at the Stonewall Inn, such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, would help bring energy to the movement for equal rights for their community. In the years that followed Stonewall, people would commemorate it with parades and Pride events. Pride events now take place across the world. They have become celebrations of diversity. They are also a reminder of the continuing effort to gain equal rights for everyone.
What Do You Think? What things are you ready to stand up for?
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