Pride Started with Activisim
by Dr. Terry Dornak
When Pride Began
When we think about Pride month, many of us think about celebrations, parties, drinking, being with friends, and lots of Pride rainbows. And yes, I think Pride should partially about celebrating our differences, our queerness; however, Pride did not start this way.
The first pride parade was in New York City, June 28, 1970 and was an act of activism, not celebration. Participants were marching in protest for their civil rights. This was one year to the day after the Stonewall riots, also called the Stonewall uprising, that started at the Stonewall Inn June 28, 1969.
For those who are unfamiliar with LGBTQ+ history, the 1960s was not a safe time for queer individuals to be open publicly about their sexual and gender identity. Gay bars and clubs were safe havens to be with others in the community and these places were often raided.
The Tide is Turning
With the recent anti-LGBTQplus laws that have been put to legislature and signed, it is time I believe for the Queer community and allies to reconsider our Pride activities. Our Pride parades can be quite large, that is true and they do get noticed; however, how much will the usual parade make a difference this year?
What You Can Do For LGBTQPlus Activism
I am calling for more activism folx! There are small to large ways to engage in activism.
Organizations like the Trevor Project definitely need donations now more than ever. They may need volunteers.
Educate the community. Volunteer to do a reading or more during Pride month.
Participate in your Town Hall and provide a Queer/LGBTQplus or allied voice
When you read or hear anti-LGBTQplus comments in person or on social media call them out if you feel safe to do so
Start and sign petitions against bills that are proposed
Continue to support gender affirming language around you
Unfortunately, the political climate has severely changed. I definitely feel it. A large reason why I created the Hello Wonderful podcast was that I felt like I needed to do more. There are things we can do, so lets do them!
Blakemore, E. (2021, June 25). Inside the first Pride parade—a raucous protest for gay liberation. Https://Www.Nationalgeographic.Com/. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/inside-the-first-pride-parade-a-raucous-protest-for-gay-liberation-lgbtq
History.Com Editors. (2017, May 31). Stonewall Riots. Www.History.Com. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots