By: Kristi Stephens YWCA NYC Communications Intern
June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate how far the LGBTQ+ community has come, but also a time to reflect on the strides that still need to be made. The first Pride march was held in New York City on June 28, 1970 and is continuously celebrated each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan (The Library of Congress, 2021).
The history of the NYC Pride Parade goes back to these events: A few weeks after the Stonewall Riots, LGBTQ+ gathered for a “gay power” rally in Washington Square Park. A new annual protest was formed and was to be called “Christopher Street Liberation Day”. This was organized by representatives from groups like Gay Activists Alliance and Gay Liberation Front, and eventually led to the first parade in NYC in 1970 (Baume, 2020).
Although many accomplishments have been made in the LGBTQ+ community such as the legalization of gay marriage, there are still many improvements that need to occur. For example, individuals within the community still face discrimination in their education, work, home, sport, and health lives. Click here for a full list of facts and figures detailing the troubling circumstances that the community faces to this day.
We must do the work to support and encourage the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, there are several ways in which this is possible. Whether it be educating yourself on the history, importance, and correct terminology, using pronouns, attending a parade, raising your voice against hate, donating, etc., there is always a way. Here you can find a list of 18 LGBTQ+ organizations to donate to for Pride Month.
Here at the YWCA of the City of New York, we focus our work on inclusiveness and equality. Our Girls Initiatives programs are open to femme-identified high school students, who lead Bystander Intervention Training for the public, which focuses on combating discrimination based around race, gender and sexual orientation. It’s important that we do our part to fight the “social norms and standards” that have held back our society for centuries.
Each person has the right to love who they love and be who they are. This Pride Month take time to educate yourself on why we spotlight the LGBTQ+ community and what they have faced as a whole. Becoming an activist and an ally is only the beginning. To join in on the Pride events happening in NYC this year, check out this link.
About : Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month : Library of Congress. The Library of Congress. (2021). https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/.
Baume, M. (2020, June 25). What Is Pride Month and the History of Pride? them. https://www.them.us/story/the-complete-history-of-pride.