Celebrate Pride Month
June is Pride Month, a month focused on the visibility of LGBTQ+ people and celebrating movement toward equality. June was chosen to celebrated Pride to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, often considered the start of the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.
In the 1960's, in many cities, including New York, bars could lose their liquor license for simply serving gay patrons. A 1967 New York Court of Appeals decision opened bars to gay patrons, but bars could still lose their liquor license if patrons engaged in "disorderly conduct". Given that homosexuality was still criminalized, law enforcement interpreted "disorderly conduct" to mean same sex kissing, holding hands or dancing. In response, the Mafia opened private bottle clubs, including the Stonewall Inn, which did not require a liquor license because patrons were supposed to bring their own liquor.
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn and arrested 13 people, including employees for bootleg liquor and patrons for violating the state's gender-appropriate clothing statute. Patrons who refused to disburse and neighborhood residents became increasingly agitated as patrons were aggressively manhandled by police, sparking violence by the bystanders. Protests, sometimes violent, continued over the next six days, sometimes involving several thousand people. The protests received almost no news coverage but were a catalyst for organizing for LGBTQ+ rights. Within a year of Stonewall, LGBTQ+ rights organizations rose from about 50 in 1968 to over 1000 organizations.
The first gay Pride parade was held in New York City in 1970 to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising. The term "Pride" was coined by Craig Schoonmaker, one of the organizers of the parade "not as a slogan so much as an understanding that people should be proud and not ashamed". Pride parades are now held throughout the world, with 5 million people attending the 2019 WorldPride parade in New York City.
In 2016, the Stonewall Inn and surrounding area were declared a National Monument.
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