The month of June is celebrated as Gay Pride Month every year, a phemomena that dates back to the early 1970s. So, here is everything that you need to know on how it all started.
June was specially chosen as LGBT Pride Month to honour the victims Stonewall riots, where the members of the LGBT community objected against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City on June 28, 1969.
Stonewall Inn, was known as the rare spot where same sex-patrons were allowed to dance with each other without fearing any kind of harassment.
During that time, it was common for the police to crack down on gay bars and night clubs in big cities which led to the uprising of the Stonewall riots. This incident was the ‘tipping point’ for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The turmoil also made way for the modern fight for LGBT rights.
The first LGBT Pride march was organised by Brenda Howard who was also known as the ‘Mother of Pride in 1969 a month after the Stonewall riots. She was an American bisexual rights activist, sex-positive feminist, and polyamorist.
She was also the one who gave the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day that are now held around the world every year to increase awareness.
Many pride events are held during this month to understand and recognize the impact that the LGBT community had around the world.
Millions from around the world participate in pride parades, marches, parties, concerts, workshops and symposiums across the globe.
The LGBT flag was created by Gilbert Baker, an American artist, gay rights activist and U.S. Army veteran, at the request of Harvey Milk, a gay local politician, in 1978 as a new symbol for the gay and lesbian political movement.
Each colour of the iconic LGBT flag has a meaning according to Baker’s website. The red is for life, orange is for healing, yellow represents sunlight, green is for nature, blue is for harmony and violet is for spirit.
U.S isn’t the only country that celebrates June as Pride Month. Tokyo, Sydney, India and Rio de Janerio have their own Pride Months that fall at different times throughout the year while other countries are slowly joining in.
After the Stonewall riots states like Texas, Idaho, Utah, Kansas, Okhlahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, the Carolinas, Virginia, and Michigan decriminalized same-sex relationships in 2003.
The US Supreme Court finally legalized same-sex marriage in every state in 2015. This is just one step towards full equality of LGBT+ people, who are still fighting political battles against police-brutality and profiling, limit on transgender members in the military, discrimination at retail stores and work place and more.
Click here to know about some important landmark decisions that were made in the U.S in favour of the LGBTQ community after the Stonewall riots.
Recently, India too de-criminalized same sex relationship under Section 377 of the IPC in 2018.
Section 377 refers to ‘unnatural offences’ and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.
In 2009, the Delhi High Court decriminalized Section 377 but, the apex court restored the criminality of the sexual relationship between persons of the same sex in 2013.
In 2018, Supreme Court advocates Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju led the fight to scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
A bench consisting of chief justice Dipak Misra and justices DY Chandrachud, AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra, and Rohinton Fali Nariman, ruled that India’s LGBTQ community has the same sexual rights as everyone else.
On that note, I just have one thing to say,