​​June is PRIDE Month

By: Tanya Kramer

Welcome to PRIDE month!

During this month, you will find parades, street parties, peaceful protests, and various educational events about LGBTQ+ issues to raise political awareness of current issues facing the community.  

You can find a PRIDE event in most major cities, but New York holds the honor of consistently holding the largest PRIDE event in the United States, with over 2 million people in attendance in 2019.

Brazil is where you go if you want to enjoy the biggest PRIDE event on earth which can reach 5 million attendees. 

Portland PRIDE will be celebrated on July 15-16 (not June) in downtown Portland near the waterfront. 

The reasons given for moving it from June to July vary, but some include circumventing rain and avoiding the overlap with Father’s Day, Juneteenth and the Delta Park Pow Wow. 

Portland’s first PRIDE month was celebrated in 1975 with 200 people. The crowd from last year’s celebration was around 8,000 people.

If you are unfamiliar with the origins of PRIDE month, then here is a brief history:

  • June 28, 1969 is known as the Stonewall Uprising people were enjoying themself at a prominent gay bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village when a police raid occurred resulting in bar patrons (including trans individuals) and employees being roughly hauled out of the bar resulting in six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street and neighboring streets.  
  • The following six months resulted in 2 gay activist groups which formed in New York and the beginning of a movement.
  • A year after the Stonewall Uprising, Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist, helped organize the first Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade where the theme was Say it Loud, Gay is Proud. This parade has over the years turned into the New York City Pride March. For this reason, Brenda is sometimes called the Mother of Pride. 
  • In the years immediately following the “Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade”, many other cities across the country had their own PRIDE parades and events.  Portland, Oregon, held its first PRIDE parade in 1975.
  • The PRIDE Flag was designed and used for the first time in San Francisco’s Pride March in 1978.  Harvey Milk asked a talented designer and friend named Gilbert Baker to create it for the event.
  • The movement that started with the Stonewall Uprising continued to grow throughout the remaining 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. This resulted in the forming of a number of prominent organizations including the Gay Liberation Front, the Human Rights Campaign, GLADD (formally Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)  and PFLAG (formerly Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
  • In June 1999, President Bill Clinton declared the anniversary of Stonewall every June in America as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. 
  • In 2011, President Barack Obama expanded the officially recognized Pride Month to include the whole LGBTQ+ community.
  • In 2016, President Barack Obama designated the site of the Stonewall Uprising, including Christopher Park and the surrounding streets and sidewalks, as a national monument in recognition of the area’s contribution to gay rights.

PRIDE is an acronym that stands for Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence.

The PRIDE Flag has eight colors that represent the following:

  • Pink – Sexuality
  • Red – Life
  • Orange – Healing
  • Yellow – Sun
  • Green – Nature
  • Turquoise – art
  • Indigo – harmony
  • Violet – Soul
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June is for Pride

By: Christina Bein 

“There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are.” – Tammy Baldwin (Senator).

Pride Month celebrates LGBTQQIP2SAA which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), androgynous, and asexual. Portland has been organizing Pride Month events since the early 1970s. Now it amasses attendants from all over the Pacific Northwest region for the Pride Parade to celebrate the freedom of self-expression and love.

LGBTQ+ has been a part of the human experience for centuries. It can even be traced back to ancient written text and artistic depictions from the time of Alexander the Great. It is well known that history has been recorded, destroyed, and reshaped by the perspectives of powerful male figures throughout time. Whether these figures were in support of or in restriction of the LGBTQ+ community, it remains the same that this way of identity and love has transcended time and will continue to do so.

In today’s documenting of the times, states like Florida and Texas have legislators restricting education and medical treatment for LGBTQ+ related topics. These bills marginalize this community, out individuals before they may be ready, punish them for it, and penalize professionals that try to help. This takes away protection from these individuals and perpetuates discrimination that do not allow people to be their whole selves. These bills take away basic rights and isolate people from support, help, or compassion.

Pride is also about persevering. On a local level, Basic Rights Oregon is an organization that was formed in 1996 to fight against anti-gay ballot measures. It works to reform policies to create a safer environment for the LGBTQ+ community, which has contributed to Oregon being ranked as one of the top LGBTQ+ friendly states in the U.S. To echo Tammy Baldwin’s sentiments, it is important to normalize the expressions of LGBTQ+ so that people can safely show up as their whole selves.

Check out these links to learn more about Oregon’s history and continued efforts in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Basic Rights

Gay and lesbian rights movement

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Day Of Silence For LGBTQ

On April 8th we honor the Day Of Silence for the LGBTQ+ community. This campaign was created in 1996 by Maria Pulzetti and Jessie Gilliam. National Day of Silence is observed in April each year as a movement against the harassment and bullying of individuals identifying with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community.

The first event was held during their University’s pride week, where participants wore tape in the form of an x to spread awareness. This campaign has grown since then, and now anyone can join in and stay silent during work, school, or at home.

The Day Of Silence is a time to take a vow of silence in protest of the discrimination felt by LGBTQ+ people in school and in their daily lives. Allies all around the world can take a moment to understand the struggles faced by people in the LGBTQ+ community. 

We can educate ourselves further by learning more about the LGBTQ+ community by hearing about lived experiences, reading their stories, and watching videos

To strive for a more inclusive society, we can understand others on a deeper level. 

Check out the resources below for more:

11 Ways to Prepare for GLSEN’s Day of Silence

Open Letter To Educators About Day Of Silence

Break The Silence Rally Guide | GLSEN

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June is Pride Month

During the month of June, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies are celebrating Pride Month!

Pride first originated a year after the Stonewall Uprisings in New York City. In 1970 the Pride march was a statement that advocated for the LGBTQ+ people’s rights to live in a world free of oppression.

While it is seen as a time for joy and love, it’s also a time for remembrance. 

Pride is not just an expression of the community with an array of vibrant colors. It is also a commemoration of the history that has fought for freedom.

June is a time to encourage open discussion with family, friends, and colleagues in order to provide a safer space for those to live their truth. 

We continue to honor the lives of those in the LGBTQ+ community who have paved the way for marginalized people. Through their example, we continue to grow, love, and give a voice to those who need a platform. 

To learn more you can read non-fiction memoirs, engage in conversation or read articles. There still continues to be inequality but we can continue to spread awareness and compassion. 

For more information, you can check out the following resources:

This Is What LGBT Life Is Like Around the World | Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols | TED Talks

Library of Congress LGBTQ+ Blogs

Library of Congress LGBTQ+ Studies: A Resource Guide

The Ultimate LGBTQ+ Pride Book List

It’s Pride Month. Here’s What You Need to Know Article

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