Welcome to Pride Month

Many times, my own father has questioned what we have to be marching for, saying that Pride Month is just an excuse to party.

Sure, it’s a damned fun party! But, it’s so much more than that. Yet, I have to be open that I wasn’t even really certain of the history behind Pride Month. How could I educate my own father when I don’t even really understand?

And so, I did some research. Two of the sources that I checked are these: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/pride-toronto-lgbtq, www.britannica.com. But please, go read these and more for yourself. Respond here and share your view and knowledge. I’d love to hear from you!

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots. So, this year we have much to reflect upon. On June 28, 1969, a gay bar in Greenwich Village in NY changed the course of LGBTQ+ rights. At that time, it was illegal to solicit homosexual relations – call a spade and spade; it was illegal to be any spectrum of LGBTQ+. In fact, it was even a criminal offence not to be wearing at least three articles of ‘gender-appropriate’ clothing. We may get more into that on a later post.

The LGBTQ+ rights movement was present long before Stonewall, and it continues today. So, why was Stonewall so important? Well, many agree that it was the catalyst for change. What was once a passive, even quiet movement turned into a Loud and Proud cheer!

It was reported that 9 officers entered Stonewall Inn to arrest the employees for serving alcohol without a license. Several patrons were arrested in the process. The criminal charges having to do with their clothing. It’s been said that previously the patrons of Stonewall were quiet and even submissive; dispersing quickly and quietly after previous raids. But that night, something changed. It was the moment the group of LGBTQ+ strong took a collective stand against the injustices they faced on a continuous basis.

Things escalated in that raid, where long standing frustration showed as anger. There are differing views concerning the actions taken by those present at Stonewall. But, I am grateful to all those that have and continue to stand up for equality and fair treatment.

Thanks to those who stood up in 1969, we have much more than a ‘party’ 50 years later. We have a community, a brother and sisterhood. Most importantly, we have Pride!

Thank you to everyone that sacrificed so that future generations no longer have to hide in the shadows. Thank you to all those who were strong enough to open their minds despite what they were taught. Thank you to those who open their arms, their lives, and even their homes to those needing support. Thank you, to you for being brave enough to show your colors with Pride!

Proudly Pan,
Selina Elliot