The Vibrant History of Pride Month

June is a monumental month for LGBTQ+ celebration


Abbiegail Luker

Will you be celebrating this June?

Abbiegail Luker, Reporter

June is an exciting month for students, marking the end of a school year for many. While some may be purely excited for summer, citizens all around the country are excited for Pride month. June is widely known for being Pride month, but why?

In short, many very important dates in LGBTQ+ history went down this month (over many decades of course). 

German immigrant Henry Gerber founded the Society for Human Rights (the first gay rights organization in America) in 1924 after being inspired by the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee in Germany during his service in WW1. The SHC also created a newsletter, “Friendship and Freedom,” which published a few issues. The group was unfortunately short-lived, being broken up by police raids a year later. 

Arguably, the most popular lead-up to gay pride in American history would be the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York. On June 26, New York City police raided Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar. Consumers and neighbors started to throw objects at the police and continued to protest for five days. While the Stonewall riots were revolutionary, we still had a long way to go.

Decades after that were spent destigmatizing LGBTQ+ until June 26, 2015, when the federal decision on Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriages legal. Jim Obergefell and John Arthur were married in Maryland, but the marriage was not recognized when living in Ohio. Similar cases were combined to form Obergefell v. Hodges. The Supreme Court found the laws against recognizing same-sex marriages to be unconstitutional and the country rejoiced. While same-sex marriage is now legal, the fight for equality is far from over. 

Other notable mentions in LGBTQ+ history include: former President Bill Clinton declaring June to be “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” on June 11, 1999, former President Barack Obama declaring June to be “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Month” on June 4, 2009, and America’s first gay pride parade “Christopher Street Liberation Day” on June 28, 1970.

Overall, June is an important month for recognizing the sacrifice that those who came before us made, the progress we will continue to make, and pride in our community. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself and having many friends that are as well, I can undoubtedly say that we are proud of our identities and will certainly be celebrating this June.