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Pride Month 2022

This June marks Pride Month in the UK: an annual celebration which focuses on diversity and inclusion as well as recognising the important achievements made by the LGBTQ+ community.

But how did Pride Month all begin, and why is it still so important? Read on to find out! 

How Did Pride Month Start? 

Pride Month was set up to commemorate and remember the Stonewall Riots of June 1969. These were a series of equal rights demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to violent police raids on LGBTQ+ establishments in New York. The name comes from the Stonewall Inn, which was one of the gay bars that were raided. 

The following year, demonstrations were organised across New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. They used to be much more militant than they are today, and rather than ‘Pride’, events used to be referred to as ‘Gay Liberation’ or ‘Gay Freedom’ marches. 

Events campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights have since happened in many different countries around the world with some impactful outcomes for the community. For example, Serbian LGBTQ+ activists successfully held a 2014 march in Belgrade after a long campaign for state support and protection, and Denmark in 2014 after successful campaigns were the first European country to allow transgender people to hold official documents like passports which reflect their gender identity. 

In more modern times, Pride in New York attracts around 2 million people each year, with some Pride celebrations even attracting almost 5 million. The largest Pride Parade is held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which started with only 2,000 attendees in 1997 but has since grown to millions every year. 

Unfortunately, Pride Month has only been acknowledged by 3 US presidents to date: 

  • Bill Clinton - recognized Pride Month in 1999

  • Barack Obama - issued an official proclamation declaring June Pride Month in 2009

  • Joe Biden - said in 2021 that “Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought - and continue to fight - for full equality”

The Pride Flag

The rainbow flag, representing Pride and the LGBTQ+ community, was first designed in 1978. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected politician in California, asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Baker unveiled two flags at the San Francisco Pride Parade, which originally had eight colours each representing a different aspect of the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Pink - Sexuality 

  • Red - Life 

  • Orange - Healing 

  • Yellow - Sunlight

  • Green - Nature 

  • Turquoise - Magic 

  • Blue - Serenity

  • Violet - Spirit 

The flags were then reduced to 6 colours to lower production costs and unify the symbols. 

There are now more than 20 different flags that each tell the story of the individuals they represent and act as tools of visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Harvey Milk & Gilbert Baker

Why Is Pride Month So Important? 

While it’s much more acceptable today to openly identify as LGBTQ+ than it used to be, it is still very important as a society that we acknowledge that there is a long way to go and we still need to continue to raise awareness, challenge negative attitudes, celebrate sexual and gender diversity and encourage inclusivity. 

Pride acts as an opportunity to celebrate and promote a culture of inclusivity and equality, and create visibility for the LGBTQ+ community through parades, street parties and community events. In more recent years, we’ve even been able to celebrate Pride through online events, with performances, talks and workshops held by artists, musicians, comedians and prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

How Are We Celebrating Pride Month At SVC? 

Our Quiz Club is hosting a Pride themed quiz to educate others on the meaning of Pride and its importance in today’s society. We will be focussing on key terms and events that bring awareness to acceptance and inclusivity. We will also be sharing this quiz with members of the Huggard Homeless Centre and the Salvation Army during our Social Clubs this June. 

We also created an interactive quiz which was shared on our social media platforms. This was a fantastic way to engage with members of our community and contribute to educating others about Pride Month, including its history and importance. 

To celebrate Pride Month, SVC teamed up with one of our partners, Shiny Happy People, to deliver a Pride themed session. This group meet every week in a hybrid capacity bringing together adults with a disability from the local community of RCT and the surrounding areas in-person, and then participants from all over the UK digitally. The group is called “You’ve Got a Friend” and celebrates friendship through song and dance together.

This week we celebrated musicians from the LGBTQ+ community, and Pride anthems requested by our wonderful participants. We danced away to some belters from YMCA, Queen and Madonna. We talked about something we all believe in – “love is love”, and we celebrated the diversity of our project and our participants! We had a lot of fun!

As part of our Games Show project, we will be running a Pride themed ‘True or False’ game to share some key terms and interesting facts with members of our community. Finally, we’ll be celebrating Pride Month with an LGBTQ+ film in our Film Club. This year we have chosen the film ‘Pride’, which is set in Wales and tells the story of LGBTQ+ activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners strike of 1984. Films are a fantastic way to gain insight into some of the difficulties the LGBTQ+ community faces, some of our favourites include: ‘Onward’ (U); ‘Love, Simon’ (PG13); ‘Call me by your name’ (15). 

In the run up to Pride Month, we also celebrated several awareness days including International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia And Biphobia (17th May), Agender Pride Day (19th May) and Pansexual and Panromantic Awareness and Visibility Day (24th May).
 

Our Act Now For Equality project also celebrated International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia by running a session discussing sex, gender and sexual orientation. They talked about the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of celebrating everyone. 



How Can You Celebrate Pride Month? 

Here’s a short list of some events being held to celebrate Pride that you could get involved with, but there are plenty more around the country if you want to search for things going on in your area! 

Cardiff:

  • 3 June 7pm - The Queer Fringe Festival Launch Party

    • Norwegian Church Arts Centre

    • Tickets less than £10

  • 4 June 11am - Drag Queen Story Hour

    • National Museum Cardiff

    • Free tickets

  • 11 July 8pm - Pride Outdoor Cinema 

    • Glamorgan Cricket Ground, Sophia Gardens

  • 27-28 August - Pride Cymru 

    • City Hall Lawns 

    • Wales’ largest annual celebration of equality and diversity

Outside of South Wales: