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Pride Month - LGBTQIA + History and Celebrations

Pride FlagJune is LGBTQ Pride Month, a time when the accomplishments and impact of LGBTQIA+ individuals are celebrated in the U.S. and around the world. Pride Month also recognizes the ongoing fight for the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and ally (the "A" can also mean asexual). The plus sign encompasses pansexual, polyamorous, and other gender and sexual identities.

Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, a series of demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a June 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. When the raids became violent, patrons of the Stonewall and other village lesbian and gay bars, along with a crowd of bystanders, fought back. The riots are among the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the current fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.

Within six months of the Stonewall riots, two gay activist organizations and three newspapers were established to promote the rights for gay men and lesbians. A year after the uprising, gay pride marches took place in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

Today, LGBTQ pride events are held throughout the world in June. It is estimated that 5 million people attended the World Pride NYC 2019 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Closer to home, NEW Pride Alive is an annual celebration held in Green Bay. While the event is cancelled for this year, the organizing committee is planning a 2022 event that will surely make up for 2021.

Here a few suggestions to celebrate Pride Month 2021:

  • Attend a pride event. While Green Bay's celebration is cancelled, there are other events planned throughout Wisconsin.
  • Grab our rainbow, bi, lesbian, pan, or any other flag of your preference and wave it with pride. Join in a pride march.
  • Watch a movie that will help you learn more about the events that led to Pride Month: "And the Band Played On," "Before Stonewall," "The State of Marriage," "L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin," "We've Been Around," "Freeheld," "Milk," and "When We Rise." Most of the films mentioned are available on streaming services, broadcast TV, or websites.
Jan Scoville - Dean, Regional Learning

About the Expert

Jan Scoville - Dean, Regional Learning

Jan Scoville is the Dean of Regional Learning, overseeing 8 NWTC rural satellite locations. Her role involves insuring rural learners have access to education and support services to complete a credential. Scoville has worked in higher education for more than 30 years with experience in residential living, student conduct, overseeing sexual misconduct processes, teaching, counseling and advocating for minoritized populations. She serves on the board of the Bay Area Arts and Culture Alliance and is a member of the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators. In her free time, Jan enjoys finding treasures in thrift stores and creating in her art studio.

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