By Anna Tache
June; the month that marks the end of school, the beginning of summer, and the beginning of our freedom as students. However, June is also an important month for another reason: it’s pride month. Pride Month is a time for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as any others, to celebrate what makes them proud of themselves as individuals. Pride Month is a very important time for members of the LGBTQ+ community (which I’m going to abbreviate as LGBT) to be able to express themselves freely without limitations.
Photo Credit: Anna Tache
Pride Month occurs in June because of the Stonewall Riots, a famous event in LGBT history. On June 28, 1969, the New York City Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay club in Greenwich Village. This raid eventually started violent protests and riots that persisted for six days. This violent event has been considered by many as the catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States.
Since the Stonewall Riots, our country has made a substantial amount of progress towards accepting and appreciating the LGBT community, but we still have a long ways to go. Same-sex marriage wasn’t fully legalized in the United States until 2015, and it’s currently only legalized in 29 countries worldwide. Although the US seems to be pretty progressive when it comes to gay rights, there are often occurances in our country that are still holding us back from moving forward and being more accepting of the LGBT community. For example, in April, the ban on transgender people serving in the US Military went into effect, stating that trans soldiers can only serve as their birth sex. Transphobic and homophoic policies such as these are keeping our country from moving forward with LGBT rights.
As someone who is part of the LGBT community, Pride Month means a lot to me. After coming out as queer during my freshman year, and eventually bisexual during my sophomore year, I have gone to the Capital Pride Parade almost every year since. During Pride Month, I feel like I can be unapologetically myself and proud of my sexuality. Being loud and proud about your sexuality, gender identity, etc. is a major part of Pride Month, which should be celebrated all year round. Whether you’re gay, straight, transgender (binary or nonbinary), bisexual, lesbian, or otherwise, you should celebrate what makes you unique, and be open to loving and accepting everyone around you.