June is Pride Month
June 28, 1970 marked the first Pride March on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The news of the march spread quickly through hand-typed press releases and community fliers. The inaugural event that sparked a movement, originally named “Christopher Street Liberation Day”, brought an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people marching for equality.
Why did it happen?
Until 1966, bars across the country were not legally allowed to serve alcohol to gay patrons, which prompted many establishments—like the mafia-owned Stonewall Inn, a premier NYC gay bar—to operate and serve alcohol without a license. And, not only was homosexuality still illegal at the time, but so was wearing too many “gender-inappropriate” items and masking one’s facial appearance (See: New York Penal Code 240.35, Subsection 4).
The June 28, 1969 raid of the Stonewall Inn was like many previous raids instigated on the premise of illegal alcohol sales. But, unlike prior raids, people fought back. In the days following, thousands took to the streets demanding civil rights for LGBT people, protesting “…against centuries of abuse; official betrayal of their human rights in virtually all segments of society; from government hostility to employment and Housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-Homosexual laws”. (https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A860300019)
The Pride movement’s physical place of origin, the Stonewall Inn, received National Monument designation on June 24, 2016, joining other sites across the U.S. as a civil rights landmark. The events of the Stonewall Uprising 47 years earlier, almost to the day, were the “tipping point of the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States”. Today, millions of people around the world celebrate Pride Month each June with marches, celebrations, educational events, and even memorial events to honor victims of hate crimes and those lost to HIV/AIDS.
Equitable living is still on the horizon
While enormous progress has been made since 1969, including marriage equality in June 2015, the LGBTQ community is still seeking equal protections under the law.
Louisville/Jefferson County signed the Fairness Ordinance in 1999, which has protected LGBTQ Louisvillians in employment, housing, and public accommodations locally. In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity qualify for the protected class of sex in employment. As a result, in February 2021, the Biden Administration used that ruling to extend the same LGBTQ protections under the protected class of sex in housing. Housing violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are now federal protected in Louisville and across the Commonwealth.
Louisville became the second Kentucky city, after Covington, to ban conversion therapy for minors in September 2020. The ordinance protects LGBTQ youth against attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity by licensed practitioners. Lexington followed in May of this year.
Pride month is a great time to reach out and learn more about people in the LGBTQ community, to volunteer, and to advocate for the fairness yet to come. Would you like to know more about the history of Pride, other important LGBTQ sites in history, and how to connect with local organizations? Find all this and more in the links below.
What is Pride Month?
The Stonewall Uprising of 1969
View archived documents from the beginning of the Pride movement:
Other important sites in LGBTQ history:
If you are in crisis, call the TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386
Comprehensive Crisis Information from the UofL LGBT Center
Local & Regional Organizations:
Louisville Pride Foundation
Kentuckiana Pride Foundation
Louisville Youth Group
Sweet Evening Breeze
The Fairness Campaign
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana
Kentucky Youth Law Project
LBGTQ Affirming Faith Organizations & Resources
Voices of Kentuckiana
UofL Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni & Guests
University of Louisville LGBT Center
University of Louisville Trans Support
University of Louisville Physicians & Providers
Norton Healthcare LGBTQ+ Inclusion Resources & Providers
Families & Educators
Information for Parents of LGBTQ kids:
The Family Acceptance Project
Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation