The following is excerpted from:
Pride month is an opportunity to celebrate diversity as well as
support civil liberties and rights for all.
History of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month
The origins of Gay and Lesbian Pride month can be traced back to a turbulent weekend in New York City in June of 1969. On the night of June 27th of that year, the usual crowd gathered at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. New York Beverage Control Board agents and NYC police officers raided the bar to enforce an alcohol control law that was seldom enforced anywhere else in the city.
Raids on gay establishments, however, were common at the time and were conducted regularly with little or no resistance, as fearful gay patrons were physically forced out of their gathering places, sometimes beaten, and often arrested with no just cause. In fact, this raid was the second such raid at the Stonewall Inn that week.
On the night of June 27th, lesbians and gay men spontaneously fought back against police harassment for the first time. The crowd inside and outside the bar erupted into violent resistance against the officers as they singled out patrons to load into waiting paddy wagons. More police reinforcements were called in as local gays and lesbians united in enraged confrontation.
Word spread quickly about the confrontation and large, outraged crowds gathered on ensuing nights to protest the mistreatment historically inflicted on the gay community. These protests came to be known as the Stonewall Rebellion, and the uprising was the catalyst for the modern political movement for gay and lesbian liberation – calling for gay pride and action to secure their basic civil rights.
The event since then has been commemorated by an annual parade held each year in New York City and Los Angeles on the last Sunday in June, a tradition starting with marches on June 28,1970 marking the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.
The Stonewall Inn was declared a national historical landmark in March 2000, cited as the birthplace of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement.
Now, Gay and Lesbian Pride events and parades are planned annually in the month of June all over the country as well as internationally. Gay and Lesbian Pride Month celebrate diversity and civil liberties and rights for all.