LGBT Pride Month 2020: What to know about its history, events, parades

What is LGBT Pride Month? Every June, events for Pride month celebrate the progress made toward equality by LGBT individuals, advocates and allies around the world.

Every summer in the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community comes together for a monthlong celebration of love, diversity, acceptance and unashamed self-pride.Here’s everything you need to know about LGBT Pride Month.

What is LGBT Pride Month?

The commemorative month is meant to recognize the sweeping impact that LGBT individuals, advocates and allies have on history in the United States and around the globe, according to the Library of Congress

When is it?

LGBT Pride Month is celebrated every year in June.

The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the riots held by members of the LGBT community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969.

The so-called Stonewall riots were a “tipping point” for the gay liberation movement in the United States, according to the Library of Congress. The uproar also paved the way for the modern fight for LGBT rights.

Previous U.S. presidents have, on several occasions, officially declared June as LGBT Pride Month.

How do people celebrate LGBT Pride Month?

LGBT Pride Month events draw millions of participants from around the world each year. Typically, there are monthlong celebrations and in-person gatherings that take place across the nation, including pride parades, marches, parties, concerts, workshops and symposiums. Memorials are also often held for members of the LGBT community who have lost their lives to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

The rainbow LGBT 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 as a new symbol for the gay and lesbian political movement at the suggestion of his friends and colleagues, including Harvey Milk, a San Francisco city supervisor and the first openly gay elected official in California. Milk was assassinated later that year.

According to Baker’s website, 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.

Baker died at the age of 65 on March 31, 2017, though his rainbow flag remains an iconic, powerful symbol for LGBT pride.

This year’s LGBT Pride Month will be celebrated differently due to the coronavirus pandemic. All 50 U.S. states have started to lift stay-at-home orders and other restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, but LGBT Pride Month parades and marches planned for June were — and remain — canceled.

The LGBT community and allies will still be able to connect virtually, though, thanks to a slew of online events.

What LGBT Pride Month events will take place this year?

A number of official events that would normally be held in various cities across the nation throughout the month will now be taking place online. Here are some of the more prominent celebrations.

  • Boston Pride will host a series of virtual events throughout the month, including the raising of the rainbow pride flag on June 5 at 12 p.m. ET, a talk on June 5 with Eric Cervini, author of “The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America,” the annual Pride Lights on June 9 to commemorate those affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as well as a pride festival and concert on June 13.
  • Los Angeles’ first-ever virtual pride parade will air as a 90-minute primetime special exclusively on Los Angeles ABC station KABC on June 13 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. PT, with an encore presentation on June 14 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • The first-ever virtual Trans March will kick off on June 26 at a to-be-decided time.
  • The New York City Pride Rally will take place virtually on June 26 at a to-be-decided time.
  • San Francisco Pride will host an online celebration and rally on June 27 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT and on June 28 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT. The virtual event will feature live and prerecorded performances, greetings from LGBT community members, elected officials and celebrities as well as speeches from thought leaders, drag and dance performances, DJ sets and more.
  • Seattle Pride will hold a series virtual events from June 26 through June 28, with specific times and more information to come.

How else will this year’s LGBT Pride Month be different?

The LGBT community has fully mobilized to support the real-time efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement and to amplify the voices of protesters marching for justice for George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died on May 25 in Minneapolis shortly after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers stood by.

Last week, more than 100 LGBT and civil rights organizations signed an open letter condemning racism, racial violence and police brutality while calling for action to combat those scourges.

“The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected,” the letter states. “We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.”

“We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter,” the letter continues. “Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of Los Angeles-based LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, told “Good Morning America” that it’s important to remember the 1969 Stonewall riots were spearheaded by many people of color. She went on to explain how this year’s Pride Month will undoubtedly be completely different.

“We’ll be centering and lifting up the voices of queer people of color, whose struggles are shared by the entire LGBTQ community,” Ellis said. “There can be no pride if it is not intersectional. We are Together in Pride.”

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