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June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, which is celebrated each year to honor the Stonewall Riots that occurred on June 28, 1969 in New York City. Across the globe, various events are held during this special month as a way of recognizing the impace LGBT people have had around the world.

The original Pride took place in New York on the anniversary of the riots in 1970 when the LGBTQ community of New York City gathered to honor the groundbreaking event by marching 51 blocks. More and more parades and demonstrations appeared in New York and across the US, including parades by PFLAG and ACT UP during the AIDS epidemic. Today, Pride is a celebration of LGBT life as well as a political and social demonstration. In some places, Pride events stretch out over a weekend or an entire week!

In 1978, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making him the first openly gay person to hold public office in a major American city. After winning the election, Milk asked Gilbert Baker, an artist and gay rights activist, to come up with a symbol of pride for the community. Gilbert came up with a flag with eight stripes: hot pink stood for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise blue for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit. Eventually, the flag was reduced to an even six colors, making it the internationally recognized symbol we know today.

“The only thing they have to look forward to is hope.
And you have to give them hope.” – Harvey Milk