Pride Month 2021 is a welcomed escape after nearly a year of canceled celebrations. Much has changed since the onset of the virus that has killed over 590,000 Americans. Thanks to recent vaccination roll-outs, for many, this will be the first public celebration in over a year.
As it turns out, not even Miss 'Rona can keep Pride Month events down!
Pride goes back to June 28, 1969, when police raided a gay club called the Stonewall Inn in New York. This sparked a riot among the community and police. For six days, protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar attracted hundreds fighting for equal rights.
At this time, homosexuality was considered a criminal offense throughout New York State. Police raids and harassment occurred frequently across the U.S. at the time and members of the LGBTQ community began to fight back amid growing activism in the 1960s.
A year later on June 28, thousands of people marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park in what was then called “Christopher Street Liberation Day” — marking what is now recognized as the nation’s first gay pride parade.
Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people and allies have continued to gather together in June to march with pride. Not to mention to recognize the impact that LGBTQ individuals have had on society and culture.
Each summer in the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community comes together for a monthlong celebration of love, diversity, acceptance and unashamed self-pride.
The rainbow LGBTQ+ flag is prominently displayed throughout the month. Gilbert Baker, an American artist, gay rights activist, and U.S. Army veteran, created the flag in 1978. It became a new symbol for the gay and lesbian political movement.
Baker's website explains the colors of the LGBT flag each have a meaning. Red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and violet for spirit. Although Baker died at the age of 65 on March 31, 2017, though his rainbow flag remains an iconic, powerful symbol for LGBT pride.
However, many are starting to use a reimagined Pride flag, one representing inclusive identities. Designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018, it features black and brown stripes to represent people of color, and baby blue, pink and white to include the trans flag in its design.
Cities across the country and around the world hold events throughout the month to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQ community. This year, there is a mix of in-person and virtual events, depending on the city.
Whether you are participating in person or from your couch this year, there are plenty of ways to get in on Pride Month 2021. Here are some of the major happenings in the US this month! (Or check out this complete list of events happening nationally and worldwide provided by the International LGBTQ+ Travel Agency.)
Atlanta Pride Run is set to be in person on June 20. Be sure to review their website for all the fun details!
Denver PrideFest events take place from late June. This includes an exciting Pride 5K run on June 20 and a virtual parade on June 21. See the website for details.
Miami Pride Beach, the free annual beach festival, will return for 9 days, Sept. 10 and 19. The festival will include performances, pool parties, a Pride lights show, drag queen competition and more.
With the theme Thrive with Pride, LA Pride will remain fully virtual this year. The celebrations will start on June 10 with a free Charli XCX concert, live-streamed exclusively on TikTok.
A fun rally and parade, which this year takes place on June 25 and 27, respectively mark Pride Month. See the NYC Pride website for more details.
This year's festivities include a Pride Movie Night on June 11 and 12. See the San Francisco Pride website for more details.
The "Colorful Pridemobile Parade" takes place on June 12. However, there are some events kicking off early June. See the Capital Pride website for more information.