Pride is a time of celebration, and we at ANAC and our allies are proud to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community! In this time of celebration, we look back at the history of Pride Month and the events that made this month possible. The Stonewall Uprising, a pivotal moment in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, happened in the early hours of June 28, 1969, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against a police raid, refusing to be silenced and oppressed any longer. The ensuing protests and demonstrations continued for several days, marking a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. One year later, on June 28, 1970, the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the first Pride parade took place as thousands of people marched in New York City to honor the first anniversary of Stonewall.
A New York Times article described the event as the country’s first Pride parade, and quoted Michael Brown, a founder of the Gay Liberation Front. “We have to come out into the open and stop being ashamed,” he said, adding, “This march is an affirmation and declaration of our new pride.” Michael Kotis, the president of the Mattachine Society, one of the country’s earliest gay rights organizations, was quoted as saying, “The gay people have discovered their potential strength and gained a new pride.” The crowd chanted, “Say it loud, gay is proud.”

Now, Pride has transformed into a global tradition of remembrance, celebration and community-gathering for all those who believe in a world where everyone is free to be their most authentic selves. Pride also plays a vital role in raising visibility and awareness, educating society about LGBTQ+ issues and advocating for equality and acceptance. 

As polls such as Gallop and Pew show that the vast majority of the American public support same sex marriage and broadly support laws forbidding LGBTQ+ discrimination in situations like jobs, public accommodations and housing, opinions towards the rights and acceptance of transgender individuals, while improving, have not yet reached the same level. 

In 2023, as transphobic policies and harmful anti-trans rhetoric proliferate, it’s important to acknowledge that the trans community is facing violations of their most basic human rights. The impact of regressive laws & policies, whether enacted or merely introduced with no hope of passing, still have substantial impact on individuals and communities. Transphobia not only affects transgender individuals but also harms society as a whole. When we marginalize and discriminate against any group, we perpetuate inequality and division. Pride Month serves as a reminder that embracing diversity, fostering inclusivity and working to combat systems of discrimination benefits everyone. By challenging transphobia, we take a step towards creating a society that celebrates and respects all individuals, inclusive of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

We at ANAC are dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ rights in all jurisdictions, both locally and globally, and will continue to fight for equality year-round.