June Is Pride Month: A Time to Celebrate the LGBTQ Community!
Happy Pride Month!
Why do we celebrate Pride Month in June? Why do we celebrate Pride Month at all?
Despite the ongoing efforts of many to bring equality and equity to all groups, prejudice is still very, very real. And prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community is easy to find.
Most days, you only need to listen to the news to hear stories about bills making their way through legislature, bills meant to limit the rights of gay and trans people, particularly children. As those bills become laws, the ability for LGBTQ people to live their lives with the same protections and rights as everyone else is deeply damaged.
By celebrating Pride Month and engaging in parades, discussions, and different kinds of gatherings, we can all learn from each other about how to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people, and what we can do as individuals and as groups to protect people’s rights.
Why June? Have you heard of the Stonewall Riots? These were a series of demonstrations by members of the gay community, which erupted after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City turned violent in June 1969. For many gay people, it was the first time they felt comfortable speaking out against the brutal treatment they’d suffered at the hands of people in power. There had been some activism around gay rights for decades, but this was the moment in modern history when an international gay rights movement was born.
As Maria Cook writes in her Nomad Press book, Gender Identity: Beyond Pronouns and Bathrooms:
“Before these protests, LGBTQ people had usually kept quiet about who they were because of the threat of discrimination. In public places, many of them tried to keep from being noticed—it was unusual for lesbians or gay men to show how they felt about their partners in public.
But when crowds of thousands began turning up at riots and protests, LGBTQ New Yorkers felt more secure. They began to be more openly affectionate in public, holding hands and kissing, even though they could be arrested for doing so. The media began to talk more openly about the LGBTQ rights movement.
Cultural changes, including the repeal of some of the most discriminatory laws, began to take place once LGBTQ Americans felt secure enough to protest openly. The Stonewall Riots had a lasting impact on the way that LGBTQ Americans think of themselves, and how the U.S. society thinks of LGBTQ Americans.”
To help teens gain some understanding of why we celebrate Pride Month every June, try a sample chapter from Gender Identity and use the Classroom Guide for a deeper exploration. You can also purchase the complete book and enjoy free shipping from Nomad Press.
First, read a sample chapter.
In the Introduction, we discuss the definition of gender and learn about the difference between physical sex and gender identity. Plus, we meet some people who have come out as transgender. You’ll find great illustrations and photographs and lots of questions to think about. Plus, an activity!