Throughout this week, we are celebrating Pride Week. It is worth taking a few minutes to look back at the origins of this event. Outside of Greenwood, Pride events and parades usually takes place in cities throughout the world in June. This date was selected as it is linked to the Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City in 1969.
As you saw in that short video, the Stonewall Inn was a place where members of New York’s LGBTQ community could socialize. Police raids on establishments like the Stonewall Inn were common. However, the LGBTQ community had run out of patience with being targeted by the police and when faced with resistance, the police became violent. Protesters numbering in the thousands gathered for several nights to demonstrate against police brutality. Ultimately, this united response led to the formation of the Gay Liberation Front, an activist group, dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Brenda Howard was an active member of the Gay Liberation Front. She is known as “the mother of Pride,” as she organized the march that commemorated the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and developed the idea of having a week of activities in support of Pride Day. She and several others are also credited with popularizing the word pride as a means of celebrating LGBTQ culture.
We owe Brenda Howard and the many others who opposed discrimination and injustice a great deal. We can carry forward this important legacy and continue to move the world toward being a safe and inclusive space by getting involved in the various Pride Week activities happening throughout the school this week.