June is Pride month, and I would love to take time to focus on all of the amazing LGBTQ+ activists and important movements that have allowed us to celebrate pride and the LGBTQ+ community like we can today. Although there is much more to accomplish, below are a few crucial parts of history that have brought us where we are today!
→ In the 1950s, Harry Hay founded the Mattachine Foundation, which was one of the nation’s first gay rights groups.
→ 1961, Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality
→ On June 28th, 1969 the Stonewall riots occurred which became a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular
gay club located in Greenwich village. This raid sparked protests that lasted 6 days and were very influential for the future of LGBTQ+ rights.
→ The Mattachine Foundation worked hard to capitalize on the energy from the Stonewall riots, by holding several public events to bring awareness and activism to the LGBTQ+ community
→ The Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was begun from the Mattachine Foundation, and these members coined the term “gay” which was previously ignored.
→ 1970, First gay pride week in NYC one year after Stonewall riots
→ 1990, homosexuality no longer considered a mental illness or a disease (from the WHO and the DSM-5)
→ MAY 28, 1998, Executive Order 13087 from President Clinton prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workforce. However, this did not extend to the military.
→ June 26th, 2015 → United States legalizes gay marriage
Although there is still much to overcome, the LGBTQ+ community has made immense progress throughout the years and it is important to recognize and celebrate all of those accomplishments
while simultaneously fighting for more equality and change!
Written by: Melanie Small, intern