On June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride Parade was organised in New York. This day was chosen as it was the one-year anniversary of the Stone Wall riots, these riots occurred when police did a raid on the Stonewall Inn which was one of the very few Gay Bars around.
Raids were quite frequent for the people in the community. However, this time what the police thought was just going to be routine raid changed the lives of the LGBT+ community forever. For in that moment the Men and Women in the Inn decided that enough was enough and they were going to take a stand against their oppressors.
Thirteen people were arrested that night one of them being a female who when being escorted to the police car cried to the bystanders ‘”Why don’t you guys do something!” This was their call to arms this was where the movement started. Over the next six days, the riots continued, with more and more of the community becoming aware of what had happened and standing in solidarity with those who were fighting for equal rights for the LGBT+ community.
London’s first Pride Parade took place in 1972 with roughly 2,000 people joining them. In 2017 it was estimated that more than 26,000 people took part in the parade.
Since the first Pride Parade activists worked hard to get their rights recognise although this change has been slow it is fundamental to many people;
- 1998 Denmark becomes the first country in the world to give legal recognition to same-sex partnerships.
- 2002 Equal rights are granted to same-sex couples applying for adoption.
- 2005 Transgender Europe is founded. The organisation campaigns for the equality of all trans people in Europe.
- 2007 The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 outlawed the discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities, services, education and public functions on the grounds of sexual orientation.
- 2014 The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 officially comes into force, with the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales taking place on 29 March 2014.
Although the last couple of years have been progressive for the community it does not mean their fight is over. The LGBT+ are still fighting for acceptance, with 53 countries in the commonwealth still criminalizing homosexuality. Even within the UK people who identify themselves as LGBT+ are at risk of homophobic and transphobic attacks whether that be physical violence or emotional abuse. Children and Young people are put at risk of being homeless if they are to come out to their parents. So, although laws are changing to be more inclusive we still need to stand with the LGBT+ community as they still fight for acceptance within society.
Therefore, Pride month is so important to our society as it allows all those who identify with the community to come together and celebrate who they are, not only that but also be proud of who they are. It allows people to promote acceptance in an environment that everyone can enjoy.