June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month. It is dedicated to uplifting the voices, celebrating the diverse cultures, and supporting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. In 1999, President Clinton declared June “Gay and Lesbian Month,” now known as Pride Month. In the decades since, it has become a global phenomenon celebrated across the world.
The events that led to the designation extend back in time to the 1960s. Many point to the events of June 28, 1969, at New York City’s Stonewall Inn. At the time, the inn was a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ+ community. When a police raid occurred that fateful night, it was a place of safety no longer. Police arrested workers and patrons alike.
Protesters gathered in front of the Stonewall Inn that night and for six days thereafter. At times, the crowd numbered in the thousands. They gathered outside the bar, in Christopher Park, and along nearby streets. While the accounts of that fateful evening vary, its eventual impact on LGBTQ+ rights is undeniable. The events at Stonewall became one catalyst among many for an emergent movement. During the following two years, LGBTQ+ rights groups formed in most major American cities.
In 20I6, the Greenwich Village site at 51-53 Christopher Street became the Stonewall National Monument. Stonewall “was the scene of an uprising against police repression that led to a key turning point in the struggle for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans,” according to a statement by President Barack Obama announcing the monument.
Pride Month is a time to focus on rights won through years of perseverance and sacrifice. At the same time, it focuses attention on the pursuit and preservation of LGBTQ+ rights. There’s much that can be done to advance the quest for respect and equal treatment under the law. Here are some ways to celebrate Pride Month.
Attend a Festival or Parade
Every June, Pride Month festivals and parades are ubiquitous across America.
The rainbow flag plays a prominent role at every event. Artist and gay rights activist Gilbert Baker created the original 8-color rainbow flag in 1978. Over the years, some have reinterpreted the flag from time to time. Colors are sometimes added or changed. In 2003, to celebrate the flag’s 25th anniversary, Baker unfurled a 1.25-mile-long version at Key West Pride.
Every color carries a different meaning. In the popular 6-color version, red is symbolic of life and orange represents healing. Yellow is sunshine and green is nature. Blue symbolizes harmony while purple is spirit.
Here are some of the parades and festivals scheduled for June 2022.
- Chicago – Chicago PrideFest includes a two-day-long street festival in Boystown. There’s something for everybody: live music, drag shows, and even a pet parade. More than a hundred vendors exhibit their artwork and other creations. On June 25-26, Pride in the Park is set for Grant Park. Many entertainers will perform. For example, there’s The Chainsmokers on the 25th followed by Alesso on the 26th.
- St. Louis – After a two-year hiatus, PrideFest returns to downtown St. Louis on June 25-26. Events center around Tucker Boulevard between Market and Olive Street. Among the Midwest’s free LGBT celebrations, only Chicago PrideFest is larger. In 2019, there were more than 300,000 attendees.
- Dallas/Fort Worth – The Dallas Pride Music Festival is from 11 am to 7 pm on June 4, 2022, at Fair Park. The Texas Freedom Parade is 2 pm on June 5. More than 200 parade entries will encircle Cotton Bowl Stadium. The festival features live music and more than 200 vendors. The Family Pride Zone features kids’ entertainment, bounce houses, and face painting.
Become an Ally
Everyone can become an ally in the quest for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. Become a better ally by learning to listen and striving to understand. When someone shares more about their identity, respond in an authentic and empathetic way. Consider the nature of your response and the importance it may have.
It takes effort to become and remain a good ally. It is a journey during which many must confront their own biases and assumptions. An ally works to elevate the voices of those in the LGBTQ community. Take advantage of opportunities to speak out against inequality and homophobia. Celebrate diversity, that multi-hued mosaic of human experience that enriches us all.
Support Important Causes
You can also be an ally by supporting LGBTQ nonprofits. Many focus their fundraising efforts around Pride Month. There are many organizations that welcome donations of time or money. Here are a few:
GLSEN is a nationwide network of LGBTQ+ charities. It is dedicated to the proposition that “every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education.” Gender and Sexuality Alliances strive to help young people feel supported and empowered.
The Point Foundation focuses on those seeking a college education. It strives to make college campuses more welcoming and accessible for LGBTQ+ students. The foundation also provides scholarships to high school seniors.
The Family Equality Council pursues policies and legislation protecting LGBTQ+ parents from discrimination. It assists couples and individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The National Center for Transgender Equality focuses on advancing transgender rights. Examples include equal access to education, employment, housing, and healthcare. The organization also takes on everything from hate crimes to workplace discrimination.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation promotes health, wellness, and inclusivity. Its programs take on the intolerance and stigmatization that is still all too common. The HRC’s Corporate Equality Index and Healthcare Equality Index are popular tools. They assess LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and in healthcare, respectively.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Draper and Kramer is a family-owned and operated real estate services firm founded in 1893. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all. Learn more by visiting our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page.