June marks the start of Pride, a time to celebrate and reflect on the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.* While the Gay Rights Movement had already established itself years prior, Pride as it is seen today began following the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The Stonewall Inn, a popular gay club and safe haven, was raided on the morning of June 28, 1969. Thirteen people were arrested inside the club, and the riots began after a lesbian was hit over the head with a police baton, inciting retaliation from the crowd. The riots lasted six days and marked a turning point in the Gay Rights Movement.
One year later on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the first Pride parades were held in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago to commemorate the riots. Since 1970, Pride parades have been held in cities across the United States, led by some of the original activists from the Stonewall Riots like Marsha P. Johnson, who is credited with starting Pride, and Sylvia Rivera. In the years to follow, enormous strides in LBGTQ+ rights have been made, including President Barack Obama’s declaration of June as LGBT Pride Month in 2009, and the 2015 United States Supreme Court decision to uphold same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. In May of 2015, the Stonewall Inn was declared a historic city landmark.
Across the United States, Pride parades and festivals are held throughout the month of June. Twin Cities Pride, an organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ support and activism in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, will be the weekend of June 23-24 in Loring Park, with a parade on Sunday, June 24 starting in Downtown Minneapolis. For more information about Pride and events, visit www.tcpride.org.
Each year, Tubman serves more than 25,000 people of all ages, genders, sexual orientation and identity, ethnicity, and background. Tubman values integrity, respect, innovation, partnership, and social justice.
*Tubman acknowledges and affirms the full spectrum of gender and sexuality, and for the purposes of this piece, the acronym LGBTQ+ will be used.