The LGBTQ+ community across the world celebrates pride month each year, in the month of June. It is a celebration of love, acceptance and diversity, but also a symbol of honour for the struggles and victories of the community over the years.
There is a reason behind why pride month is celebrated in June. This brings us back to the year 1969, when not the first-ever, but the most prominent LGBTQ+ civil rights movement began on June 28, famously known as the Stonewall Uprising, held in Manhattan.
Police raids at gay bars and clubs were not unusual in those times, but the morning of June 28, 1969, saw a completely unexpected event. Members of the LGBTQ+ community fought against the police, who were conducting a raid at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of lower Manhattan.
The club was raided under the excuse that the bar was operating without a liquor license, considering that the city administration in those days did not allow bars to serve gay folks.
According to eyewitness accounts, a key figure who stood up against the NYPD was Marsha P Johnson, a black transgender drag artist who was at the forefront of the uprising. Following the events, she and her Puerto Rican activist friend Sylvia Rivera founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organisation to aid the homeless and transgender youth.
The events that unfolded during the Stonewall raid and the uprising are considered important in changing the perception surrounding the LGBTQ+ community.