Many of us have heard the term LGBTQ+ pride but may not be familiar with the history. Let us look at the many reasons and ways to recognize and celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
June is designated as LGBTQ+ Pride Month; “Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally”.
The month of June was chosen to pay homage to the Stonewall Riots, also known as the Stonewall Uprising. The riots were largely considered to be the single most important event leading to the LGBTQ liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. On June 28, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar and recreational tavern located in New York City. Tensions quickly escalated as patrons and supporters resisted. This was viewed as police harassment and persecution of the LGBTQ+ community. This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ+ Americans.
Educational organizations in the United States led the way and in 1994 when they designated the first LGBT History Month. In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months.
In June 2016, President Barack Obama announced the designation of the first national monument to LGBTQ rights. The Stonewall National Monument encompasses Christopher Park, The Stonewall Inn, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the sites of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
To date, four presidents of the United States have officially declared a pride month. In 1999 and 2000, President Bill Clinton declared the month of June as "Gay & Lesbian Pride Month”. In 2011, President Obama declared the month of June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month for each year he was in office. In 2019, President Donald Trump became the first Republican president to acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month through a tweet rather than an official proclamation. In 2021, the current U.S. President, Joe Biden, declared the month of June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions. The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970, on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
This month, DoDEA celebrates our colleagues and friends in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community, plus anyone not represented by the letters. We recognize and support their contribution to the success of our students. The “I am DoDEA Video Series” will feature our colleagues from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies and friends throughout this month.
 Bureau, US Census. “LGBTQIA+ Pride Month: June 2021.” Census.gov, 8 Oct. 2021.