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Welcome to Pride Month

Pride - AMS Fulfillment

We’re seeiPride - AMS Fulfillmentng Rainbows!! Everyone knows that June is Pride Month. Unlike some commemorations, Pride is celebrated all month long with events, stories and the rainbow flag flying.

In June we celebrate the many contributions made by the LGBTQ+ community to history, society and cultures worldwide. The reason June is chosen in the US is that the Stonewall Riots took place June 1969. In other countries pride events occur at other times of the year.

History of Pride Month

According to the History website [LINK], the gay rights movement goes back to the early 1900s, when a small number of individuals in the US and Europe created gay and lesbian organizations. One such organization is the Society for Human Rights. It was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago in the 1920s.

After WWII, there were gay and lesbian-positive publications and the demands for the end of discrimination became stronger. From the website we read: “In 1966, for example, members of the Mattachine Society held a “sip-in” protest at Julius, a bar in New York City, where they demanded drinks after announcing that they were gay, in violation of local laws against serving alcohol to gays and lesbians.”

The article goes on, “Despite some progress in the postwar era, basic civil rights were largely denied to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people—until one night in June, 1969, when the gay rights movement took a furious step forward with a series of violent riots in New York City.”

Stonewall Riots & the first Parade

Imagine it being against the law to serve alcohol to gays and lesbians. Such a law seems unthinkable today, and we’re grateful for that. Of course the law set the stage for police raids, and a raid occurred on June 28, 1969 that changed the world – the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

The employees and patrons were dragged out of the bar by the police, and some of them fought back. A crowd grew and people gathered in the street where clashes with the police took place. From the article we quote: “The confrontations quickly escalated and sparked six days of protests and violent clashes with the NYPD outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street and throughout the neighborhood. By the time the Stonewall Riots ended on July 2, 1969, the gay rights movement went from being a fringe issue largely ignored by politicians and the media to front-page news worldwide.”

The first Gay Pride parade took place one year later, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Why pride? The answer is very easy, as LGBTQ+ people were made to feel shame about themselves and their lifestyle. “According to activist Craig Schoonmaker, ‘I authored the word ‘pride’ for gay pride … [my] first thought was ‘Gay Power.’ I didn’t like that, so proposed gay pride. There’s very little chance for people in the world to have power. People did not have power then; even now, we only have some. But anyone can have pride in themselves, and that would make them happier as people, and produce the movement likely to produce change.”

The article goes on to say, “In June 2000, President Bill Clinton officially designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, in recognition of the Stonewall Riots and gay activism throughout the years. A more-inclusive name was chosen in 2009 by President Barack Obama: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.”

What Does LGBTQ+ Stand For?

Before we leave the subject of this important commemorative month, let’s understand the acronym LGBTQ+. The letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, which means ‘questioning’. The plus sign recognizes the additional sexual orientations and gender identities. We hope our readers will enjoy the Pride events during this month.

Finally, we see that this battle for equality and respect is not yet over: “Gay Pride events are nonetheless seen as vital protests against repression and isolation in places such as Serbia, Turkey and Russia, where Pride parades have been met with antigay violence. Even in the United States, a rise in bloodshed, killings and threats at Pride and other gay events and gatherings highlights the oppression the LGBTQ+ community still faces.”

As with so many of the instances of prejudice, discrimination and injustice that we have seen and done battle with, this one still continues on in areas of the world. We look forward to the day when our battles for human freedom and justice are won, and we live in a world where DE&I is no longer needed.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.



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