It's officially Pride Month: Here's everything you should know about the global LGBTQ celebration (2024)

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about LGBTQ Pride Month, annual LGBTQ Pride parades and the iconic 1969 Stonewall uprising.

What is LGBTQ Pride Month?

LGBTQ Pride Month is a commemoration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community that is part celebration and part protest. It is often associated with massive parades and parties that honor the community’s joys and accomplishments. But the rallies, marches and political actions can be just as important to draw attention to the issues still facing the community.

How did LGBTQ Pride Month start and why is it in June?

LGBTQ Pride Month traces its roots back to the 1969 Stonewall riots, which started on June 28, 1969. The first Pride marches started the following year, on June 28, 1970, to commemorate the multiday riots, and these one-day celebrations eventually evolved into a full month of LGBTQ pride.

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According to a search of, an online archive of more than 26,000 newspapers, the first mention of “Pride Month” was in a June 5, 1972, issue of Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Daily Times. In the article, gay activist Byrna Aronson talks about the gay rights rallies popping up across the country and shortly after says, “We call it Gay Pride week and Gay Pride Month, the whole month of June.”

The first time The New York Times mentioned Pride Month, according to its online archive, was in a 1989 article about Mayor Ed Koch being heckled as he “proclaimed the month of June as Lesbian and Gay Pride and History Month” at a ceremony in Greenwich Village.

What are the Stonewall riots?

In the early-morning hours of Saturday, June 28, 1969, members of the New York City Police Department staged a raid at the Stonewall Inn, a mafia-run gay bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. While such raids were not uncommon at NYC gay bars at the time, what was unique on this night is that the patrons had decided to fight back.

The Stonewall riots, also known as the Stonewall uprising and the Stonewall rebellion, lasted several days and are credited as the spark that ignited the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement.

In June 2016, President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding area a national monument, making it the first national monument honoring LGBTQ rights.

Check out these stories for more info:

  • When it comes to Stonewall, the myths are as famous as the riots
  • NYPD formally apologizes for 1969 Stonewall raid
  • Stonewall police records shed new light on 1969 uprising

When was the first LGBTQ Pride march?

The first Pride marches in the U.S. took place on June 28, 1970, exactly one year after the start of the 1969 Stonewall riots. In New York, organizers dubbed their event the Christopher Street Liberation Day March. In a New York Times article the following day, the paper wrote: “Thousands of young men and women hom*osexuals from all over the Northeast marched from Greenwich Village to the Sheep Meadow in Central Park yesterday proclaiming ‘the new strength and pride of the gay people.’”

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The same day as the NYC march, Los Angeles held a “Christopher Street West” celebration on Hollywood Boulevard that drew thousands. According to LGBTQ historian Lillian Faderman, there were also two “very small marches” in San Francisco and Chicago that year, but New York City’s was the largest by far.

Check out this story for more info:

  • The road to America’s first LGBTQ Pride marches

What are the biggest LGBTQ Pride marches in the world?

New York City continues to be a global hub for Pride celebrations, drawing millions of people to its annual Pride March in June, which extends from midtown Manhattan to Greenwich Village.

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Both São Paulo and New York City have drawn crowds of about 4 million people to their Pride celebrations, making them the largest events in the world. Cities like Madrid, Toronto and San Francisco also regularly draw hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of revelers.

When was the rainbow Pride flag created?

The rainbow Pride flag, the most enduring symbol of the LGBTQ rights movement, was created by seamster Gilbert Baker nearly half a century ago for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978, which drew hundreds of thousands of revelers.

“Up until the rainbow flag in 1978, the pink triangle had really functioned as kind of the symbol of hom*osexuality and gay rights, but it was designed by Hitler. It was put on us in the same way that they used the Star of David against Jews. It was a whole code of symbols that were used to oppress people,” Gilbert told NBC News in 2016. “So we needed something that was from us.”

Gilbert liked the idea of a flag because “flags are about power,” he said, adding: “I knew right away that the rainbow would be the perfect fit for us.”

“It expressed our diversity in terms of our gender, our race, our ages —all the ways we’re different, yet connected,” he said of the rainbow. “And then using something from nature, taking the rainbow, one of the most beautiful, magical, spiritual parts of nature and making that a symbol for our sexuality, for our human rights.”

When did the U.S. government first recognize LGBTQ Pride Month?

President Bill Clinton was the first to declare a Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in June 1999, the 30th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In his proclamation, Clinton drew attention to recent violent attacks against the LGBTQ community, likely referring to the murder of Matthew Shepard in October 1998.

It's officially Pride Month: Here's everything you should know about the global LGBTQ celebration (4)

“We cannot achieve true tolerance merely through legislation; we must change hearts and minds as well. Our greatest hope for a just society is to teach our children to respect one another, to appreciate our differences, and to recognize the fundamental values that we hold in common,” Clinton wrote in the proclamation.

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Brooke Sopelsa

Brooke Sopelsa is the editorial director of NBC Out, NBC News' LGBTQ digital destination.

Isabela Espadas Barros Leal

Isabela Espadas Barros Leal is an associate editor for NBC News' diversity verticals based in New York.

It's officially Pride Month: Here's everything you should know about the global LGBTQ celebration (2024)


Who started pride? ›

On November 2, 1969, Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Broidy, and Linda Rhodes proposed the first pride march to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of hom*ophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in Philadelphia.

What is the pride in Lgbtq? ›

The word 'pride' is an integral cultural concept within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) community, representing solidarity, collectivity, and identity as well as resistance to discrimination and violence.

What do you know about Pride Month? ›

Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to honor the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. It traces its roots back to the 1969 Stonewall riots. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about LGBTQ Pride Month, annual LGBTQ Pride parades and the iconic 1969 Stonewall uprising.

Why is it important to celebrate pride? ›

By coming together strong on Pride, we show others the dignity and self-respect we all deserve. We can raise awareness of the issues our community faces and effect change. We live at a time where more young Americans than ever identify as LGBTQ. These youth face higher suicide risks than their peers.

Why is pride a downfall? ›

Pride causes over-confidence, which blinds us to our weaknesses and can lead to destruction. A measure of confidence is very important. Over-confidence however is a problem, and it often comes from pride. When we're prideful and over-confident, we can overlook potential weaknesses, dangers and pitfalls.

What caused pride? ›

The Stonewall Riots occurred due to a raid by New York City police on the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village on June 28th, 1969. Angered by police harassment and social discrimination, the events of June 28th sparked six days of protests and galvanized the gay rights movement.

What does the LGBT 🌈 stand for? ›

You may be familiar with the rainbow-striped Pride flag. In recent years, this flag has been updated and expanded to represent the intersectional diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2-S) communities.

What does the P in pride stand for? ›

Originally adopted by UCSF Medical Center 16 years ago, these set of values are organized under the acronym PRIDE, which stands for Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence. These are important core values for everyone who works, learns, teaches and discovers at UCSF.

What pride means to you? ›

Pride means love, acceptance, educating and celebration. Free to be who you want to be. Pride is the opportunity to be openly expressive, loving, and honest. Pride is being unafraid of your true self and, if we're lucky, met with understanding and support. Pride is also feeling a part of something and connected.

What is the meaning of LGBTQ? ›

An acronym used to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning persons or the community. Avoid using the term​“gay community,” as it does not accurately account for the community's diversity.

Why is pride important in school? ›

How School Pride Boosts Morale. School pride is a powerful motivator that can: Motivate students to work hard and strive for excellence: By fostering school pride, you can light a passion for success in students and help them achieve their full potential academically, socially and athletically.

Where does pride come from? ›

Pride results from self-directed satisfaction with meeting personal goals; for example positive performance outcomes elicit pride in a person when the event is appraised as having been caused by that person alone.

Why is having pride a good thing? ›

A: Pride brings well-being through an evolution of self-worth. When you begin to see that you have a sense of agency and can make an impact on how you feel, you are often motivated to set goals and to continue to experience a sense of accomplishment.

Is pride a good trait why? ›

We all need to have pride, or self-confidence, in our abilities and in our accomplishments. Pride makes us feel good about ourselves and motivates us to act in positive ways. Validation by other people is helpful to pride, but not always necessary.

What is pride of purpose? ›

By John Baldoni. If you intend to lead others, you need to give them not only reasons to follow you but also reasons to be part of your organization. Often a sense of belonging comes down to feeling good about what you do as well as how you do it. Call it pride of purpose.

What is pride and how did it start? ›

The concept of Pride Month began with the Stonewall riots, a series of riots for gay liberation that took place over several days beginning on June 28, 1969. The riots began after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar located within Lower Manhattan in New York City.

What was the beginning of pride? ›

June is Pride Month, commemorating the Stonewall uprising, which began on June 28, 1969.

Who is the father of pride? ›

Father of the Pride is an American animated television series. The series is based on Siegfried & Roy's performances. The animation was produced by Imagi Animation Studios. The family was conceived by Katzenberg when he visited Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden in Las Vegas in 2002.

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