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Rainbow Pride Flag

The history of Pride Month

Image: Supporters wave rainbows flags on the sidelines of the annual Pride Parade as it passes through Greenwich Village | lazyllama /

Every year, the world dedicates a month to celebrating the history and lives of LGBTQ+ people. Pride has become an integral and huge part of LGBTQ+ history and something which is always marked in style. Here we’re exploring the month, how people celebrate and some interesting facts you may not have known.

When is Pride Month?

Pride Month is celebrated each June. Throughout the month there are celebrations and events around the world to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ history and stories. Pride is a celebration of the huge contributions made by the LGBTQ+ community to society, culture and history.

The history of Pride Month

The gay rights movement started many years before there were official events to commemorate it. The roots date back to the early 1900s when groups supporting and advising gay and lesbian people began to appear, including Henry Gerber’s ‘Society for Human Rights’ in the 1920s.

More groups began to form after World War II and they began publishing newsletters that shared more positive stories about gay people in society. Groups such as the ‘Daughters of Bilitis’ and ‘Mattachine Society’ became more vocal and began to campaign to get rid of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

The Mattachine Society hosted protests and events to raise the profile of gay rights. They famously held a ‘sip-in’ protest at the Julius Bar in New York City. They demanded drinks after announcing they were gay in contravention of local laws which prohibited the sale of alcohol to gay people.

Even with some small improvements, LGBTQ+ people were still a long way from having equal rights in the post-war era. This led to continued unrest and eventually the event that changed history. On 28th June 1969, the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Greenwich Village in Manhattan.

The police were said to aggressively drag patrons and employees from the bar, resulting in people fighting back. A crowd of angry locals quickly grew, and confrontations escalated with six days of protests and clashes with the NYPD outside the Stonewall Inn and across the neighbourhood.

By the time the riots ended on 2nd July 1969, the gay rights movement had become front-page news in America and had also gained traction worldwide. The Stonewall Riots marked a significant change in the story of the LGBTQ+ movement. People began to take their plight more seriously.

Pride Events in the UK

Pride Month is a chance to celebrate across the UK and the wider world. Many Pride events happen across the country in June and July to celebrate the history of LGBTQ+ people and their fight for equality.

York Pride

York Pride is the biggest Pride event in Yorkshire and a chance to celebrate all things diverse and LGBTQ+. The event is running on 3rd and 4th June in the centre of York with live music, DJs, food and drinks to enjoy. The historic streets will be packed with people celebrating alongside vibrant drag shows and the event closes with a three-hour cruise down the River Ouse.

Pride Cymru

Pride Cymru is the Welsh Pride event that takes place each year in Cardiff. On 17th and 18th June, Pride Cymru takes over Cardiff Castle and of course, spreads into the streets for the parade. Pride Cymru is particularly popular due to its accessibility, attracting a large number of disabled visitors.

London Pride

London Pride doesn’t take place in June, but it is still well within the celebratory period. On 1st July, London Pride celebrates every part of the LGBTQ+ community in the capital and attracts millions of visitors from outside of the city too.

Brighton Pride and Manchester Pride, two of the other leading and most popular events in the UK both take place in August.

Top Facts about Pride Month

Pride Month is a huge celebration every year, giving people the chance to celebrate their diversity and educate others on the journey of LGBTQ+ people. Here are some top facts you may not have known about Pride.

1. London’s first Pride March took place in 1972

London Pride has always been a significant event in the LGBTQ+ calendar. The first London Pride March was in 1972 and around 2,000 people attended. Now the event attracts millions of attendees and thousands get involved with the parade.

2. Chicago was home to the first-ever Pride Parade

The first Pride marches were organised a year after the Stonewall Riots to mark the anniversary. People often argue the Christopher Street Gay Liberation March in New York was the first of its kind, but Chicago held their march a day sooner on 27th June 1970. Around 150 people attended, listened to speakers and walked across the city.

3. The famous Pride Rainbow was designed in 1978

The Rainbow Flag is one of the most commonly associated symbols of LGBTQ+ people and Pride. Gilbert Baker created the Rainbow Flag in 1978, and he claimed that he designed the flag after he was appointed to do so by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the USA. The original flag featured eight colours though this has since been reduced to six.

4. Brenda Howard is the Mother of Pride

Bisexual rights campaigner Brenda Howard is heralded as the ‘Mother of Pride’ because she organised the New York Christopher Street Liberation March. Brenda put together a week-long festival of events including rallies and parades, to commemorate Stonewall and celebrate all things LGBTQ+.