June marks the month celebrating LGBT pride!
In honor of Pride month, I thought I would share 5 little known facts about the origin of this celebration.
1. Pride marks the historical event, Stonewall Inn riots.
In 1969, it was illegal for LGBT people to congregate in public places. Because of this, LGBT bars and clubs were targeted by law enforcement. To push back, on June 28, 1969, when police attempted to empty the bar, the LGBT community stood up for themselves. It started three days of riots and protests that launched the LGBT rights movement.
2. The original pride flag had two extra colors.
The pride flag was originally created in the 1970s. It was designed in San Francisco by artist Gilbert Baker. The flag was created after Harvey Milk's assassination. It had eight colors that represented sex, life, healing, sun, nature, arts, harmony, and spirit. The reduction in colors came down to cost. It was cheaper to produce with less color, so pink (representing sex) and turquoise (representing arts) were removed.
3. Stonewall Inn had corrupt ownership.
Employees of Stonewall Inn would single out wealthy patrons who were not public about their sexuality and blackmail them for fear of being outed.
4. Black Cat Tavern Riots in LA Two Years Earlier
Two years before the riot that started Pride month, another riot happened at a gay bar in L.A. The patrons fought back against police raids at the Black Cat Tavern. Two people who participated in the riot went on to start the most popular publication for the LGBT community - The Advocate.
5. The Pentagon Held First Gay Pride in 2012
In June 2012, the Pentagon held its first Pride event since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was repealed in 2010. They held a panel discussion titled, "The Value of Open Service and Diversity."
If you are celebrating Pride this month, don't forget that Chicago's Pride Fest is June 16-17 this year in Lakeview.
Cheers to inclusion, love, and diversity!