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Updated: Jun 19, 2021


Pride Flags hung for Pride Month

As we enter the month of June, we are seeing more and more pride flags showing support and allies of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. Additional letters have later been added to LGBT, like Q for Queer or Questioning, I for Intersex, and A for Asexual or Ally, to be more inclusive. Many articles have shortened the LGBTQIA abbreviation to LGBT+, keeping the original four-letter acronym and adding the plus sign to include those that weren't previously identified. (In this post LGBT+ and gay are used interchangeably, so the meaning of gay is used a descriptor for the community and not exclusively for the homosexual man.)


What is Pride? Why do people celebrate Pride? Why is it in June? Why do we at An Otter Milestone care? Hopefully I can help answer these questions with today's article.


Like many groups throughout history, the LGBT+ community has had to fight for equal human rights as well. Prior to the 1969 Stonewall Riots, any type of same-sex solicitation was illegal.


The 1969 Stonewall Riots wasn't the first event noted in history to fight for LGBT+ equality, but it was one of the most notable events and turning points in LGBT+ history. In the late 1960s, the Stonewall Inn, previously was a restaurant and bar serving straight patrons, was purchased and cheaply converted to a gay bar. After converted, it served as a safe haven for those who wanted to express themselves freely and it also became a refuge for runaways or those evicted for being gay. Stonewall was no stranger to the police. Police were called often to arrest folks since it was a well known gay establishment. Same sex kissing, dressing as the opposite gender, dancing, and serving alcohol to gay folks was illegal. Even same sex hand holding was grounds to be arrested. Most of these raids prior to late June raid of 1969, the bar was tipped off, and was able to avoid any major issues from the police.


On an early morning of late June in 1969, a raid had taken place, but this time it caught the owners and patrons completely by surprise. Police officers assumed that those being arrested would go quietly and calmly, and other patrons not being arrested would move on out of the area while police were there. The police underestimated the power the Stonewall gave the LGBT+ community because they resisted and fought back. As police aggressively arrested those committing LGBT+ acts, the others didn't disperse like the police thought. Instead they stayed and rioted. In moments after the raid the people outside began rioting and showing discontent for the police's treatment of the arrested LGBT+ folks and of the illegality of same sex acts. The riots and raids continued for almost a week, starting with a few hundred LGBT+ and supporters rioting on day one the thousands of LGBT+ supporters by the last day.


The Stonewall Riots began in June and this event was one of the most notable events in LGBT+ history which is why Pride is celebrated in June.


Pictured here is the Progressive Pride flag which includes colors for the transgender, POC, and those living with and who have died of AIDS communities.
The Progressive Flag

But Pride celebrations celebrate more than just gay people. It's a month long celebration celebrating and recognizing People of Color (POC), those living and who have died of AIDS, and allies, too. It has become a progressive type celebration celebrating the hardships people have endured to get equal treatment and equal rights. It is a time where people can be his-, her-, or them-self without fear of retaliation or persecution. A place of inclusion and a "take off your mask and just be you" event.


The flag pictured here is known as the Progressive Flag. It contains the original rainbow idea simplified to six colors. White, pink, and baby blue were added to recognize the transgender community. There is mixed supporting articles of what exactly the brown and black stripes mean. Some articles only mention the POC community whereas other articles include POC and people living with or who had died from AIDS. The chevron shape starting at the left and moving to the right is to symbolize that there has been progress, but there is still progress to be made.


We at An Otter Milestone wants to take this moment to recognize the heart and spirit each person. We honor the creativity, inspiration, energy, and heart those show and give to society. All individuals have a place on this Earth and the persistence shows passion that teachers to know thyself. It is An Otter's Milestone's desire that you stay true to you. We welcome anyone to add in the comments what they are proud of and enjoy sharing with the AOM community.

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