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LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a worldwide month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ people's history and culture. Held in all six continents, Pride celebrates the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots, considered a watershed moments in civil and gay rights in the United States. A year following the riots, activists and supporters held marches to commemorate the clash between activists and police in hopes of calling attention to LGBTQ+ rights and the need for establishing spaces for people that are free of discrimination.
On June 28th, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Patrons of the bar, as well as LGTBQ+ people, activists and allies of the community, held protests and demonstrations against the raids. Riots broke out as a result of the clashes between police and demonstrators.
Following weeks of protests and demonstrations, as well as confrontations with police, LGBTQ+ activist groups began organizing and working towards creating places that would be free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, among other things.
The following year, on June 28th, 1970, the first anniversary of the riots, groups in New York City held the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March. In commemoration, cities through the United States, including Chicago and Los Angeles, also held Pride parades and events. The day would later evolve into Gay Pride Day.
Following the Christopher Street Liberation Day, Brenda Howard, known as the "Mother of Pride," one of the march's organizers, began working on a week-long pride celebration.
In June 1972, London became the first city outside the United States to hold Pride festivals.
Through the 70s, 80s and 90s, people around the world celebrated LGBT Pride month with parades and events.
In 1999, President Bill Clinton became the first President to declare June LGBT Pride month.
On June 29th, President Barack Obama held the first of eight LGBT Pride Month receptions. That day, a video of the reception was posted on YouTube, receiving more than 85,000 views in 10 years (shown below).
Brands During Pride Month
In 2019, memes involving corporate involvement and recognition of Pride Month became the subject of mockery and criticism online. These memes typically took on the format of a captioned image macro in which the subject espouses their homosexuality or relationship to the queer community under the caption "Brands during Pride Month." The memes criticize the perceived cynical and opportunistic exploitation of Pride Month as something that can win customers or fans (examples below).
Drag The Kids To Pride Event
The Drag The Kids To Pride event was a child-friendly drag show held during Pride Month at the gay club Mr. Misster on June 4th, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. The event was widely criticized online for sexualizing children and exposing them to an inappropriate, potentially harmful environment, as well as an attempt to "indoctrinate kids" into the LGBTQ+ community by some. The day of the event, several viral videos and images from it were uploaded to social media, including images of a neon sign reading "it's not gonna lick itself" over the runway, videos of children walking with the drag queens and videos of drag queens taking money from kids. A protest was held in front of the club as the event happened. The event became a talking point, particularly among conservatives, that month, inspiring one Texas lawmaker to propose a bill making it illegal to hold a drag show if children are present.