June each year marks the celebration of Pride Month, 30 days of paying tribute to those in the LGBT+ community who have fought for decades for visibility, freedom and sexual rights.
This year is even more of a celebration in that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, which saw members of the LGBT+ community retaliate against harassment from police and other authorities in Greenwich Village in June 1969.
Stonewall – not be confused with the seedy, dodgy bar in Sydney – was one of the first venues overseas that opened and operated as a safe space for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex folk.
The ‘Pride Flag’, or ‘Rainbow Flag’, was first illustrated in San Francisco in 1978, and so celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year.
But LGBT+ groups have been fighting for far longer than the late 1970s. In fact, in the 1950s, small groups had been formed and kept busy lobbying for equality for gay men and lesbians. These included the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles and the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco. These groups provided legal support for individuals as well as giving the homosexual lifestyle a certain, respected identity. Remember, this was the 1950s, where gender and sexual rules in general were pretty strict, let alone the seriousness of laws against acts of homosexuality.
Back in those days, lesbians and gay men were often fired from jobs if their bosses or coworkers discovered and disagreed with their sexual orientation. So, yes, times have changed very much where today laws are in place for sexual discrimination and harassment in the work place.
So… Happy Pride Month, and remember all those men and women – gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and otherwise – who have fought hard over the decades to make sexual diversity a positive thing.
FYI, according to records, the ‘Pride Flag’ or ‘Rainbow Flag’, was first illustrated in San Francisco in 1978, and so celebrated its 50th Anniversary last year. The six colours on the flag reflect the diversity of the LGBT+ community and it is often used as a symbol of gay pride during LGBT+ rights marches and at venues that are LGBT-safe-and-friendly.