As Pride Month gets rolling around and rainbow flags start appearing on bars and other businesses, some people may wonder why the LGBTQ community takes Pride so seriously.
Those who haven’t been forced to exist in fear may not understand the dire need for acceptance and recognition. To date, there are over 70 countries where homosexuality is still illegal, with punishments ranging from fines, to jail time, to stonings, lashings, and life imprisonment.
In the 1960’s it was illegal in the United States for bars to serve alcohol to homosexuals, or for gays or lesbians to even congregate in bars. This led to regular police raids on establishments frequented by LGBTQ people. On June 28, 1969, a black trans woman named Marsha Johnson threw a shot glass at police officers raiding the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay hangout on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. This was the beginning of the Stonewall Riots, often considered the birth of the gay rights movement.
As the past 50 years have seen incremental political changes and a shift in cultural attitudes toward homosexuality, many protests and demonstrations for LGBTQ rights have grown to become celebrations of the right to exist in public, the progress made in the realm of legal recognition, and the diversity within the queer community. Same-sex marriage is now legal in over 20 countries, and that’s something to celebrate.
24/7 Tempo reviewed the largest, longest running, and most impactful Pride events around the world. These events sometimes attract millions of celebrants, just like the best carnivals in the world. We reviewed dozens of events gay communities all over the world have organized. With a few exceptions, all of the events on our list are happening in June because it’s designated as LGBTQ Pride Month around the world.