The beginning of June marks the start of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. This is a time focused on celebrating queer individuals and their community as a whole, as well as the continuing fight for LGBTQIA+ equality. The history of Pride Month begins with the Stonewall Riots. These historical riots began when NYC police raided a gay club called Stonewall Inn the morning of June 28th, 1969. Although police raids of gay clubs and bars were common during the ‘60s, this particular raid was a surprise to the bar and its patrons. Those in the club were forcefully removed, but many lingered to protest the police. Anger within the harassed people, on-lookers, and police reached a climax, and a violent riot began. The fight and protest lasted for six days. The Stonewall Riots were the catalyst for a stronger push for LGBTQIA+ activism. On the one year anniversary of Stonewall, the first gay pride parade/march took place in the streets of Manhattan, New York. The parade became a yearly event and quickly spread to other parts of the nation, eventually evolving into the Pride Month celebrations that occur today.
There are many ways to celebrate Pride Month for both members of the queer community and allies. In Idaho Falls, there is a Pride Night Chukars game on Friday, June 24th. Following the baseball game, June 25th is the IF Pride parade and festival. Parade lineup will take place at 9:00 a.m. in front of the Unitarian Universalist Church. The parade will begin around 10:00 a.m., follow the Greenbelt, and loop back to where the festival is taking place. The festival will be taking place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There will be live music, vendors, kid corners, and other interactive opportunities. A drag show will also take place that Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Boise Pride parade and festival will be taking place after pride month on September 9th-11th.
Another great way to celebrate and support is to donate to LGBTQIA+ charities and organizations. A few great options to choose from are The Trevor Project, Trans Lifeline, The Martha P. Johnson Institute, Human Rights Campaign, and Encircle. Support can also be shown through buying from queer-owned businesses. Other ways to be an ally to LGBTQIA+ during this month is to become educated about struggles and injustices the community faces and the history of their fight for gay rights.
Pride Month is time for LGBTQIA+ individuals to celebrate their identities and an opportunity for others to be an ally. Pride Month came to life because of those who fought for gay rights, and this month is dedicated to recognizing queer struggles, accomplishments, and the people in the amazing and ever-expanding community.