Happy Pride Month! A Brief History Lesson!

rainbow assortment of parasols floating in midair

Happy Pride Month! June is Pride Month in many parts of the world, celebrating LGBTQ* folks of all stripes.
For those of our readers who are “baby Gays” or anyone born post 1990, here’s a brief history lesson.

The Beginnings of Pride

Pride started in North America with the Stonewall Riots back in June of 1969. This is why you can occasionally see the phrase “Pride is a riot” graffitied about various places. Frustrated by the very targeted police raids against LGBTQ* patrons and owners of the Stonewall Inn and other bars in the city, the riots began with the first brick thrown, and while no one knows for sure who tossed that first brick, it’s been apocryphally attributed to one Marsha P. Johnson.

After the violence and chaos of the initial riots, the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots was marked by peaceful protests and marches that could arguably be called the first pride parades in cities across the United States.

That’s not to say all was glitter and rainbows from then on, there were many hurdles to clear and challenges faced by the LGBTQ* community in the years following. Other challenges range from the AIDS crisis, which claimed the lives of many young people, to the fight for marriage equality, which is still being fought even today nearly 60 years later in many countries around the world. Thailand for example, recently made headlines becoming the first Southeast Asian country to recognize same sex marriage.

Where did the Rainbow come from?

The Rainbow flag, now nearly ubiquitous and synonymous with Pride didn’t make an appearance until nearly a decade later in 1978. The original rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker and if you’re interested Britannica has a great writeup on that here!

The flag took a while to gain momentum and was even involved in at least one lawsuit. It wasn’t until 1994 that it really took off as part of the 25th anniversary of the stonewall riots.

Pride in the Modern Era

What started as a riotous protest is now a celebration, over the decades since Stonewall, Pride has evolved from throwing bricks to throwing various shades of rainbow swag on everyone and everything.

Pride parades happen in hundreds of cities around the world and many a crosswalk has been decked out in rainbows. Meanwhile, corporations still can’t decide if it’s cool or not to support Pride.

Given all the (hard-fought) victories for LGBTQ* rights around the world, there have been discussions about the need for Pride today, and while many straight folks have very strong opinions on the matter, Basically Gay believes that it is very much a necessity.
To celebrate pride the Basically Gay team has created a pride sayings generator! You can check that out here!

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