Pride Month is celebrated every June in tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots, and we’re getting ready to dust off our rainbow flags, douse ourselves in glitter, and go join in the fun. With parades, festivals and concerts going on across the globe, there’s always some way for you to get involved — as well as learn some important social history along the way.
The History of Pride Month
On a hot summer’s night in New York on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, which resulted in bar patrons, staff, and neighborhood residents rioting onto Christopher Street outside. Among the many leaders of the riots was black, trans, bisexual woman, Marsha P. Johnson — leading the movement to continue over six days with protests and clashes. The message was clear; protestors demanded the establishment of places where LGBT+ people could go and be open about their sexual orientation without fear of arrest.
Pride Month is largely credited as being started by bisexual activist, Brenda Howard. Known as, “The Mother of Pride,” a year after the Stonewall Riots, Brenda organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade. This eventually morphed into what we now know as the New York City Pride March, and from where parades and marches across the world evolved.
Speaking of the rainbow flag, it was actually gay politician, Harvey Milk, who asked a talented designer friend, Gilbert Baker, to design an all-encompassing symbol to take on San Francisco’s Pride March in 1978. Sadly, Harvey Milk was assassinated along with Mayor, George Moscone, on November 23, 1978 in San Francisco City Hall by Dan White, a disgruntled former Supervisor, who was angry at Milk who had lobbied hard against having him reappointed on the Board of Supervisors.
San Francisco Pride
With over 200 parade contingents and exhibitors, and more than twenty community-run stages and venues, the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade is the largest gathering of the LGBT community and allies in the nation. Celebrations begin on a Saturday in Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Francisco the last full weekend of June each year. The Parade, which takes place the Sunday morning of the event, kicks off from Beale Street along Market and ends at Market and 8th St. in the heart of downtown San Francisco.
As a sub-holiday during Pride Month, Pride Day is celebrated on June 28.
The day marks the date in history when the first Pride march was held
in New York City in 1970.