It's time to celebrate the brave and wonderful LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is for everyone to embrace who they are and let the world know — in style! All throughout June there will be rallies, parades, parties, workshops, concerts, and countless more LGBTQ+ events, attracting participants from all over. This is a community that takes huge pride in their movement, celebrating the festivities and partying with elaborate costumes, makeup, and, of course, lots and lots of glitter.
The origins of Pride Month began on the 28th June 1969. That night police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York, which resulted in customers, staff, and local residents rioting onto the street. Marsha P. Johnson, a black, trans, bi-sexual woman, lead the movement and the protests continued for six full days. The message was clear — protestors demanded establishments where LGBTQ+ people could go and be open about their sexual orientation, without fear of arrest. A year later, the famous New York City Pride March was born, with many similar parades and marches following throughout the years.
Rep the Rainbow!
In 1978, openly gay politician Harvey Milk requested a new symbol for him to take to that year's pride march. The 'rainbow' was designed by Gilbert Baker and originally included eight colours, although pink and turquoise were later removed to make production easier. Each one of the eight colours represents a specific aspect: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for peace, and purple for spirit. This all inclusive symbol can most commonly be seen on flags, but if you want to show your support, you could also wear them on a t-shirt, a hairband, a wristband, on your shoe laces, or even painted on your face!
If you want to support the LGBTQ+ community, or find out more about the struggle for equality, here are links to some great organisations worth checking out:
MindOut: "MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people." All of MindOut's services are available online or over the phone. If you or someone you know identifies as LGBTQ+ and are experiencing mental health issues, MindOut is a fantastic service to bring people together and remind each other we are never alone.
StoneWall: Stonewall stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere. Stonewall organises campaigns with the goal of creating positive change in public attitudes. "We ensure LGBTQ+ people can thrive throughout our lives by building deep, sustained change programmes with the institutions that have the biggest impact on us, whether we’re learning, working, praying or playing sport."
Galop: At Galop "we support all LGBTQ+ people who've experienced hate crime, domestic abuse or sexual violence."Galop is a charity-funded helpline created to help anyone from the pride community who has experienced violence or abuse. They have been established for over 30 years and recieved very positive feedback from the work they have been doing.
Here are also links to some great LGBTQ+ run businesses:
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and show support towards the wonderful pride community. Walk or dance in a pride parade, wear some rainbow colours in your clothes, or donate to any of the amazing charities. You don’t need to identify as LGBTQ+ to attend a pride march, everyone is welcome to show their support for gay rights and equality for all, so check out what’s happening in your community and go join in on the fun!