Each June, the streets of cities around the world fill up with feathers, leather, and rainbow flags for annual gay pride celebrations. In fact, the entire month is dedicated to celebrating sexual diversity. If you're planning to head to an event this weekend, here are four pieces of trivia you can bring up in conversation.
It began in NYC. On June 28, 1969, New York City police officers raided a Greenwich Village gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, and inadvertently started the modern gay rights movements. Although raids on bars frequented by gay patrons were common, this time the customers resisted, rioting and demonstrating against the discrimination for four nights. Gay pride events held each June began as a commemoration of this historic event.
It's celebrated around the world. Half a million people attend the pride parades in Paris on June 27 each year, and the movement is spreading to religious countries like Italy and Israel. South Africa hosts the only gay pride parades in Africa.
It became more mainstream in the 1980s. In the 1980s the commemoration of the Stonewall riots became less radical and more organized in the US. Today, families and children come out to celebrate the positive message of self-acceptance in places like San Francisco and New York.
Bill Clinton made it official. Bill Clinton declared June Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in the US. President Obama has since renamed it LGBT Pride Month, despite his reluctance to support gay marriage.
Will you attend any pride events this weekend?