Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall uprising in Manhattan.  

The history of pride month

In the United States of America, on June 28th 1969, the Stonewall inn – a bar, was raided by police for the second time, and they threw out 200 people and injured some of them. This event caused a week of protest and rioting from the gay community, who had had enough of the harassment by the authorities. Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera spearheaded the protests, which were the beginning of a new phase; this was the beginning of Pride marches in June. In the United Kingdom, laws changed to improve gay people’s rights in 1967; even though this happened, it led to more gay men being arrested, which still meant equality wasn’t there. The stonewall uprising impacted the UK as it was only a few years after, in 1972, that the UK held its first pride festival, which had 2,000 people in attendance. After this point, several laws were passed in the UK with: 

Timeline of the laws affecting LGBTQIA+ rights in the UK

There is still room for improvement, but we have made a significant amount of progress and have ways to go. 

LGBTQ+

Pride is a celebration of people coming together in love and friendship to show how far LGBTQ+ rights have come and how in some places, there’s still work to be done—Gilbert Baker created the origin of the famous Rainbow flag in 1978. There are hundreds of iterations of flags representing different meanings, which shows how many other people need to be defined. The Transgender in LGBTQ+ is special as it’s said that the first brick thrown was at a black transgender woman, and this led to Marsha Johnson, a black transgender woman leading the charge in the riots. All the groups understand the power of change, and these changes come when we all work together. We saw this with the Black Lives Matter movement when the LGBTQ+ community stood in arms and fully supported the moment as this change was needed in society. Support came in numerous ways, from protests to LGBTQ+ organisations, knowing they are fully helping the moment.  

The symbolism of the flag: 

Colours of the pride flag and their meanings

The media on AIDS

In the 1980s, a virus was as devastating if not more devastating than covid 19. AIDS/HIV could be transmitted through unprotected sex, sharing injecting equipment, blood transfusions or from mother to baby during pregnancy. HIV/Aids are a lifelong condition, but with the correct medical care, it can be controlled. In the 80s, they weren’t aware of these things. Many people even believed the disease could be transmitted by holding hands. The adverts published worldwide were like death threats, but the impact aids had on the LGBTQ community was horrible. Section 28 was introduced in UK schools and councils in 1986, a law that stopped teaching the acceptability of homosexuality. On November 7th, 1991, Earvin “magic” Johnson announced that he had contracted HIV. Immediately after this, gay accusations began plaguing his image; this led him to defend his sexuality in a 1991 issue of sports illustrated. In the 1980s, aids were considered a gay virus; Magic Johnson’s case allowed the world to educate themselves on the virus. People used to believe that you could only contract the virus from gay sex, and many thought that once you acquired that, you wouldn’t have long left to live, but 30 years later, Magic Johnson proved that is false. He has become an advocate for spreading the awareness of HIV and has numerous schemes aiding those in need. Today HIV/AIDS is taken very seriously, and there are plenty of precautions advocated to prevent anyone from catching the virus. With the correct medical procedures to counteract and fight viruses as early as possible, today, adults are advised to get tested regularly. 

Impact on youth

The celebration of pride month has had on today’s youth is astounding, as, from a younger age, the youth can thrive during their adolescent years. The celebration of pride month allows today’s youth to discover that they can explore and find who they could be. Acceptance in society has a significant impact as the youth are educated through schools, their households, and communities. I vividly recall the yearly pride month assembly held in my secondary school, informing us on the history of the importance of accepting people’s decisions.  Homophobia in this modern society in the UK is treated similarly to racism. You will see others defend and support your decisions and support from the authorities in your defence. Today we have the power of the internet and social media, powerful tools for the youth. TikTok, a social media app, has a thriving LGBTQ community which positively spreads awareness and allows the youth to find themselves. This is an excellent opportunity for people to find a community that fits them, and that’s the power of having social media. Thirty years ago, people would steer away from speaking openly about LGBTQ. Still, today there’s an understanding and support when having that conversation which is another step in the right direction.   

Charities

Stonewall 

Stonewall was founded in 1989 and has been a part of the movement since the introduction of section 28 became law. The founders objected against section 28 and campaigned against it by using their platform to educate the youth about our lives, family, and relationships. Stonewall found success fighting against section 28 by battling in the media, in court and existing with the facts to back themselves. “Stonewall, we stand for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere. We imagine a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves, and we can live our lives to the full.” that is a quote from the about you page. Stonewall has been a part of the majority of changes in the community since its formation, as the end of section 28, protection of discrimination and the right for same-sex couples to get married, to name a few. They are immensely proud of their accomplishments, and “stonewall continues to stand with and fight for the freedom, equity, and potential of all LGBTQ+ people. Until the world we imagine is the world we live in.” 

You can learn more by visiting their page. 

https://www.stonewall.org.uk

MindOut 

“MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people.” MindOut recognises that this community is wonderfully diverse and aims to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of those who fall under LGBTQ+ or even those who may be unsure. MindOut’s service is to help all those that they can, with online support, to operate globally, but they are based in Brighton and Hove. They have “online support live chat”, which is scheduled talks about specific things that may pique the interest of those within the community; this is an excellent way to spread knowledge. MindOut also offers advocacy, peer support groups, peer mentoring, suicide prevention, online support, and counselling. 

You can learn more by visiting their page. 

https://mindout.org.uk/

For extra resources check out our safeguarding page.