Every year, the essence of Pride Month mesmerizes the nation. From vibrant colors and exquisite artwork to the sheer joy on the faces of those who march in parades filled with the spirit of freedom- we find ourselves captivated by it all. The world watches as people of all ages, races, genders, and nationalities show pride in one of the many aspects that make our world diverse and beautiful. The LGBTQIA+ community and millions of advocates, allies, and accomplices work tirelessly to help the world understand why it matters. Drag shows, parades, workshops, and concerts are just a few ways we join in on the celebration. But the truth is, it's all much more than just a festive ball of fun. Pride Month is a commemoration, reminding us of how we overcame the tragedy, struggle, and injustice that once plagued a group of innocent patrons.
In 1969, a group of patrons was bombarded during their visit to a local bar known at the time for its gay and lesbian clientele. Law enforcement officers had been aware of the neighborhood bars and noted those who frequented them. On the morning of June 28, 1969, when the officers charged into the bar, they were met with fierce resistance by those who would undoubtedly stand up for their right to be both confident and accepted. Although the bar patrons were among the first to fight against the injustice, many others later engaged in successive spur-of-the-moment protests and riots that later became known as the Stonewall Rebellion, also referred to as the Stonewall Uprising and sometimes just Stonewall.
A year later, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, New York City hosted the first Pride March. Now every year, in June, the LGBTQ+ community and others worldwide participate in month-long celebrations commemorating the strength, courage, and pride that helped to liberate those who endured the raid and who still suffer from the lasting effects of the vengeful attack against humanity.
Pride + Progress
Remembering Stonewall isn’t about a quick history lesson. It’s a grave reminder that our Pride Month celebrations are fueled by the injustices and sufferings endured in the past. As society realizes that Pride Month is more than just marches and elegant beauty celebrating diversity, it should also start to embrace a spirit of inclusion. The LGBTQ+ community must feel valued, included, and respected, as all other groups demand. When people can overcome the harsh shackles that hold them behind the rest of the world, there is a breath of new life that forges a path for their future. Making sure our children are prepared to live in a world where fair is fair, right is right and beauty is beauty isn’t a new task. It’s a daunting task that we’ve faced for many generations. And, as we push to add progress to pride, we can move from simply remembering, honoring, and celebrating to accepting and understanding.
This blog is written by Jaquina Gilbert. author of our soon-to-release book, Diversity in the Workplace Essentials You Always Wanted To Know. The book discusses the topic of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and how organizations can leverage and embrace talents from diverse backgrounds to create an inclusive organizational culture.