The beginning of June marks the beginning of Pride Month in the US and parts of the world, a season of celebrating the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ communities and protesting recent attacks on hard-won civil rights.

This year’s Pride is taking place in a contentious political climate, with lawmakers in some states trying to ban drag shows, ban gender-affirming nursing care and limit how teachers can talk about sexuality and gender in the classroom.

Events were disrupted. Artists were persecuted. And in Colorado in November, five people were killed and several wounded when a gunman shot them at a gay nightclub.

“What we’re seeing right now is probably the worst since the early days in terms of the demonization of our communities,” said Jay W. Walker, co-founder of the Reclaim Pride Coalition, a New York City group.

But that won’t stop people from coming out to celebrate Pride this month, he said.

“You cannot hold back our communities. Nobody can. These are basic human rights,” Walker said.


June has been an important month for the LGBTQ+ rights movement since the first Pride in New York City, then called Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day, on June 28, 1970.

This event marked an act of defiance a year earlier, the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn in New York. After a police raid on a gay bar, a mob led in part by trans women of color channeled their anger into confronting the authorities. This was the catalyst for what became a worldwide movement for LGBTQ+ rights.

For more than half a century, the annual marches have been an opportunity to demand action on specific issues, such as the AIDS epidemic and same-sex marriage, as well as a public celebration.


On these days, pride and events are held all over the country.

Many of the country’s largest cities, including New York, San Francisco, ChicagoDenver and Minneapolis hold their main marches on the last weekend of June, while some cities hold their events throughout the month or even at other times of the year.

Along with the marches, Pride organizers fill June with events ranging from readings and performances to parties and street festivals.

Florida’s theme parks and hotels will host their annual Gay Day events this weekend, even after Gov. Ron DeSantis and state lawmakers passed a series of anti-LGBTQ+ laws, some of which prohibit classroom discussion of sexual orientation.

Prides also take place around the world, drawing large crowds in places like Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Madrid and Toronto.

At some past events, concerns about commercialism and corporate presence have overshadowed real issues that are still unresolved. In the past few years, New York City has hosted a second event on the same day as a larger Pride. The Reclaim Pride Coalition says their event brings back the spirit of protest that animated Stonewall.

The New York City Dyke March channels the idea that Pride is about protest, not just parades.


In recent years, there has been much to celebrate at pride parades, such as in 2015, when the US Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.

But the last few years have been more difficult; Pride events were curtailed during the pandemic, and when they returned to in-person events last year, it was with a sense of urgency given the rise of hateful rhetoric and anti-LGBTQ legislative action.

Nationwide, at least 17 states have imposed restrictions or bans on medical care for gender-affirming minors, and transgender athletes face restrictions at schools in at least 20 states.

“This is a year where the mood is going to revolve around resistance and finding strength and community and centering our joy and our right to exist and our right to be here,” said Kathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior adviser to Human. “Campaign for Rights” organization.

LGBTQ+ communities, Oakley said, must “take it upon themselves to continue to resist the forces that try to prevent us from being whole, joyful, happy and prosperous. … And unite to repel the very oppressive forces that are coming at us.”

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