In many parts of the world, June is Gay Pride Month, which is dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ community and their fight against discrimination and social exclusion. Many countries organize month-long activities and initiatives that culminate in a loud crescendo in the Gay Pride Parade, which usually takes place in late June.
In the United States, Gay Pride Month has its roots in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The Stonewall Riots, or as many call it the “Stonewall Riot,” were a series of impromptu and sporadic protests by the LGBTQ community in the US were organized around New York City.
The protests were in direct response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the village of Greenwich on June 28, 1969. The hostel had a pretty eclectic past, ranging from a Genoese criminal family to a gay watering hole in New York. The hostel became very popular with gays and was one of the few places where gays could dance.
In the United States, the 1960s were the time when protests against the Vietnam War gained momentum and a hippie counterculture simmered. At the same time, gay and lesbian members of American society were constantly marginalized. In fact, same-sex dating was still a crime in New York City. During these troubled times, the Stonewall Inn was a haven for the LGBTQ community.
Drag queens, effeminate, gay men who pretended to be straight, could all enjoy themselves at the “bottle bar” – the hostel did not have a liquor license like the guests had theirs. However, the city still considered it illegal for the gay community to display affection in public. Gay bars were regularly searched and their owners and customers harassed.
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn and arrested 13 people. Some were employees and some were customers who broke New York State’s gender-sensitive clothing law – that is, drag queens. The raid caused long-standing frustration in the LGBTQ community, and many gay customers and residents of Greenwich Village gathered around the hostel.
The situation became aggressive, many civilians were ill-treated and an LGBTQ woman was beaten by a police officer when she was put in a police vehicle. A real riot broke out immediately. This led to five more days of armed protests and LGBTQ activism in New York. The Stonewall Riots therefore mark an important day today in the evolution of gay rights. In 2016, President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn a National Monument.
On June 28, 1970, people celebrated the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, and that anniversary heralded the very first Gay Pride March. At the same time, marches took place in the cities of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The following year the marches had reached Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, and even West Berlin. The pride marches paved the way for acceptance and assimilation by the LGBTQ community, which has long been rejected by the general public.
In the United States, President Bill Clinton proclaimed the very first “official” Gay Pride Month in June 1999, which was followed by a declaration in June 2000.
The Bush administration has maintained a stoic silence on this issue. President Obama made June LGBT Pride Month every year for his two terms from 2009 to 2016. President Trump announced on Twitter that June would be LGBT pride month, but abstained from making an official proclamation. President Biden has also declared June LGBTQ + Pride Month 2021.
Since 2012, Google has also been strengthening its LGBTQ + attitude on its homepage. Any Google search on LGBTQ topics is offset by the distinctive rainbow colored pattern – the hallmark of Gay Pride. In 2017, Google took a step forward with Google Maps showing streets in rainbow colors to show the pride marches going on around the world.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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