What Does Pride Month Mean?

In the month of June, you may notice an abundance of rainbows everywhere you look! Rainbows are always beautiful, but in June, they symbolize the celebration of Pride Month. You might be wondering, what exactly is Pride Month and why do we celebrate it?

Let’s take a journey back to the 1950s. For a long time, LGBTQ+ individuals faced numerous legal restrictions in the United States. They were prohibited from marrying each other, dressing as they desired, and even congregating in public places. However, despite these limitations, LGBTQ+ people would still gather in secret. One such gathering spot in New York City was the Stonewall Inn. The police were aware of places like the Stonewall Inn and would often arrest LGBTQ+ individuals found there. Police raids on LGBTQ+ gathering places were a common occurrence throughout the country.

On the night of June 28, 1969, the police once again attempted to raid the Stonewall Inn. However, this time, the people being targeted did not surrender quietly. They fought back. Others in the vicinity of the Inn joined in the protests as well. The Inn itself was even set on fire! Eventually, the police arrested multiple individuals, but the protests continued for several days. The Stonewall uprising was not the first instance of resistance by LGBTQ+ people. In fact, similar protests had been occurring since 1955. However, something was different this time. Stonewall marked the beginning of a new wave of organized protests advocating for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

Exactly one year after the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ+ organizers held a march in New York City. They chose the theme of “pride” for the march, wanting to demonstrate to onlookers that they were proud of their identities. Similar marches also took place in other cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Many major cities in the United States began hosting marches on the last Sunday of June. Over time, these marches evolved into larger celebrations.

In 1999, President Clinton officially designated the month of June as “Pride Month.” In his declaration, he acknowledged the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in their pursuit of rights and safety in all aspects of life. Since then, Pride Month has been celebrated annually! These festivities are not exclusively for LGBTQ+ individuals, though. Ever since the first pride marches, family members, friends, and other allies have also participated in both protest and celebration.

Naturally, there have been significant advancements in LGBTQ+ rights in the United States since 1969. However, these rights were not granted without years of tireless protests by LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies. Activists have fought for laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from workplace discrimination. They have also advocated for the recognition of same-sex relationships. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in the United States. Many years of protests and marches, including Pride Marches, have helped LGBTQ+ individuals become more visible in society. This increased visibility has played a crucial role in changing the minds of many Americans regarding the rights and protections that LGBTQ+ individuals deserve.

In the present day, Pride Month is celebrated in many cities and towns across America, as well as in countries around the world, although not always in June. The current form of Pride Month includes various celebrations held in parks or other public spaces. Local organizations often organize festivals, concerts, and other events to commemorate the occasion. To show their support, local stores and television stations may decorate their premises with rainbow-themed decorations. If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, do you celebrate Pride Month? How does your community mark this occasion?

Let’s give it a try!

Here are some activities to express your PRIDE:

1. LGBTQ+ activists and others have historically protested against laws they considered unjust. Are there any rules or laws in your school or local community that you disagree with or find unfair? Use Canva or any materials you have to create a poster that aims to persuade others to change these rules. Afterwards, share your creation with friends and family!

2. Pride Month originated as a means of protesting the unfair treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals. Unfortunately, not everyone is treated fairly. Can you think of any individuals or groups in your school or community who are subjected to unfair treatment? How can you support them as an ally? Discuss your thoughts with friends and family members.

3. Do you participate in Pride Month activities or other marches? If so, you know that creative signs and posters can effectively convey your message in a fun way. Utilize materials available at home to design and craft a poster or sign for Pride Month. What message do you want to convey? How will you use your artistic creativity to attract attention to it?

Sources of Wonder:

– https://www.britannica.com/dictionary (accessed 31 May, 2023)

– https://www.britannica.com/story/why-is-pride-month-celebrated-in-june (accessed 18 Mar., 2023)

– https://www.britannica.com/event/Stonewall-riots (accessed 18 Mar., 2023)

– https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/proclamation-7203-gay-and-lesbian-pride-month-1999 (accessed 18 Mar., 2023)

– https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/how-to-explain-pride-month-to-a-child/ (accessed 19 Mar., 2023)

– https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/stonewall-milestones-american-gay-rights-movement/ (accessed 19 Mar., 2023)

– https://guides.loc.gov/lgbtq-studies/stonewall-era (accessed 19 May, 2023)

– https://civilrights.org/2009/06/22/stonewall-riots-the-beginning-of-the-lgbt-movement/ (accessed 22 May, 2023)


1. What is Pride Month?

Pride Month is a month-long celebration that honors the LGBTQ+ community. It is observed annually in June and serves as a way to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which took place in June 1969 in New York City and marked a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

2. Why is Pride Month important?

Pride Month is important because it provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community and to promote acceptance and equality. It is a time to celebrate diversity, promote self-affirmation, and show support for LGBTQ+ rights.

3. How is Pride Month celebrated?

Pride Month is celebrated through various events and activities, such as pride parades, parties, concerts, workshops, and art exhibitions. These events aim to create a sense of community, raise visibility, and foster inclusivity for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies.

4. Who can participate in Pride Month?

Anyone can participate in Pride Month. It is not exclusive to the LGBTQ+ community; allies and supporters are encouraged to join in the celebrations as well. Pride Month is an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

5. What is the symbolism of the rainbow flag during Pride Month?

The rainbow flag is a widely recognized symbol of LGBTQ+ pride. Each color of the flag represents a different aspect of the community. Red symbolizes life, orange represents healing, yellow signifies sunlight, green represents nature, blue symbolizes harmony, and purple represents spirit. The rainbow flag serves as a symbol of diversity, unity, and inclusivity.

6. How can I show support for Pride Month?

There are many ways to show support for Pride Month. You can attend pride events, educate yourself and others about LGBTQ+ issues, donate to LGBTQ+ organizations, use social media to spread awareness, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in your community. It’s important to be an ally and create an inclusive environment for everyone.

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