June 1, 2013 is the start of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Pride Month. It is a month devoted to the awareness of the positive stance against discrimination and violence towards the LGBTQ community and efforts of the LGBTQ community to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality, increased LGBTQ community’s visibility as a social group, building community in general, and celebrating sexual diversity and gender variance.
President Obama’s proclaimed that the LGBTQ Americans and their allies have been “hard at work on the next chapter of that history” for “more than two centuries,” America “has struggled to transform the ideals of liberty and equality from founding promise into lasting reality.” He also said it is ”a moment of great hope and progress, recognizing that more needs to be done. Support for LGBTQ equality is growing, led by a generation which understands that, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”
June marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in June, 1969. As a result Pride Month falls in June and a series of events are held during this month to recognize the impact the LGBT community and their allies. Individuals such as Brenda Howard (the “Mother of Pride” who coordinated the first LGBTQ Pride march), Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk), L. Craig Schoonmaker, and Tom Limoncelli helped to create the beginnings that became the foundation of LGBTQ Pride Month.
On two separate occasions, two different Presidents of the United States have officially declared June the official LGBTQ Pride Month. Former president Bill Clinton declared it in 2000. President Barack Obama has declared it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Let’s put our hands together and celebrate another month to promote equality for all people and put an end to discrimination. Let’s ensure that June is Pride Month, no matter which party comes to power, from this moment onward.
Written by Audrey Haven