Pride Month: the history of this celebration and the progress made.

June is Pride month and has been dedicated to celebrating the LBTQ+ community for years. Festivals, carnivals, marches and parades are held to celebrate the community and raise awareness for the community’s rights and shed light on the injustices that are still being presented within this day and age.

A study held by “Stonewall.org” explored the injustices of the LGBTQ+ community in the UK and reported that 1 in 5 of the respondents of their investigation was a victim of hate crime within the last 12 months. It was also revealed that over 75% of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community go unreported.

These figures demonstrate how rife hate crime within the community still is and why raising awareness during Pride month is so important.

So why June?

The injustices and hate towards the LGBTQ+ community date back decades and the reason why the month of June has been dedicated to this cause was a result of a hate crime.

A riot rocked New York when an incident broke out between the police and club goers who were in attendance at an infamous gay club on June 28th 1969. The famous event was named the “Stonewall Riots” and have been recognised as a pivotal stepping stone in the move towards gay rights and equality in society.

In a documentary by Netflix exploring Transgender activism, this notorious incident credits activists such as Marsha P. Johnson,  who has been honoured for making the first move in the Stonewall Riots. This incident has hugely impacted the LGBTQ+ community and has been crucial to raising awareness and promoting equality within society.

Because these riots were so historic year after year, June has been used to annually remember this incident and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. All over the world, June is now recognised as Pride Month.

Where are we now?

While the figures listed above show that there is still hate being spewed across the world, there has been a lot of progress made in society. Laws, Bills and Societal changes have been passed in the UK to help support the LGBTQ+ Community. For example :

  • 1967 – Sex between two men over 21 and “in private” is decriminalised
  • 1980 – Decriminalisation in Scotland
  • 1982 – Decriminalisation in Northern Ireland
  • 1994 – The age of consent for two male partners is lowered to 18
  • 2000 – The ban on gay and bisexual people serving in the armed forces is lifted; the age of consent is equalised for same- and opposite-sex partners at 16
  • 2002 – Same-sex couples are given equal rights when it comes to adoption
  • 2003 – Gross indecency is removed as an offence
  • 2004 – A law allowing civil partnerships is passed
  • 2007 – Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is banned
  • 2010 – Gender reassignment is added as a protected characteristic in equality legislation
  • 2014 – Gay marriage becomes legal in England, Wales and Scotland

Credit- The BBC

What can we do to support and help the LGBTQ+ Community?

This progress is greatly apricated amongst the LGBTQ+ community, however, there is still a lot of progress to be made. Campaigns and charities continue to battle for equality and justice with the community, so here are some things that you can do to help.

  • Spread awareness online – if you are comfortable publicly speaking out about this topic, then use your social platforms to spread awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Speak out- if it is safe to do so, speak out about the abuse that you have witnessed to local business owner and local authorities.
  • Report incidents of discrimination you experience when accessing public services like housing or social services to the service provider or local council so they can take action.

You can contact Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 50 20 20 for advice and support.