Reported By: Jaedyne Filkins Gay Pride also known as Pride Month, is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. According to Google, “Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.” The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month long series of events.
Pride Month is celebrated in many ways, such as LGBT pride parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and large festivals, such as Sydney Mardi Gras, which spans into several weeks.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 celebratory month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.New York City completes the week of celebrations with the famous NYC Pride March down Fifth Avenue with more than a million spectators watching. This event, one of the top 10 gay pride events in the USA is recognized as one of the world’s best Gay Pride celebrations.
Color has long played an important role in the communities’ history and expression of pride. In Victorian England, for example, the color green was associated with homosexuality. The colour purple (or, more accurately, lavender) became popularized for the lesbian and gay communities with “Purple Power”. The pink triangle was first used by Hitler to identify gay males in Nazi concentration camps, and the black triangle was similarly used to identify lesbians and others deemed “asocial”. The pink and black triangle symbols were reclaimed by the communities in the early 1980s to signify strength of spirit and willingness to survive oppression. As they gain acceptance of their rights, the symbols of oppression are gradually being replaced by the symbols of celebration. By far the most colourful of our symbols is the Rainbow flag, and its rainbow of colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, which represent the diversity of our communities. The first rainbow flag was designed in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco artist, in response to calls by activists for a symbol for the community. Baker used the five-striped “Flag of the Race” as his inspiration, and designed a flag with eight stripes: pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These colours were intended to represent respectively: sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony, and spirit.
A lot of schools welcome the LGBT community. At Corning Painted Post High, there is a club that represents the LGBT community, called GALA. GALA starts in September and meets once a month. Students can come and go as they please and just hang out with friends. Senior, Jordyn Masey K. Baker says, GALA has always been a place where you can express yourself and feel safe and everyone is so nice that you feel like they’re sort of like family”. Jordyn also expressed her excitement for Pride Month when she said, “ People may not always appreciate us or accept us however in June it is finally our month!”