Celebrating Pride Month
Tuesday, 1 June, marks the start of Pride Month. Pride Month is 30 days dedicated to uplifting the voices of those in the LGBTQIA+ community, celebrating their achievements and encouraging education. During June, we reflect on the progress of LGBTQIA+ rights and highlight the work needed to achieve true equality and inclusion for LGBTQIA+ people every day of the year.
Learn about the history of Pride Month, along with ideas on how to honour and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community below.
Before we celebrate Pride Month, we need to acknowledge the history. June 1969 saw the beginning of the Stonewall Uprising – a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to the police raid, riot and violence at a well-known LGBTQ+ club in New York, The Stonewall Inn.
Eight years later, on 24 June 1978, a small group of LGBTQ+ university students held a street party on Oxford Street, Sydney, to stand with their comrades in the USA. By the time the small group made it to the other end of Oxford Street (Hyde Park), a total of about 500 people had left the bars, clubs, restaurants, and other shops on the street to join them. This event is now referred to as the first Mardi Gras.
Tragically, this evening resulted in 53 arrests and police brutality. The devastation continued the following Monday when the local newspapers published the names, addresses and occupations of those arrested. This resulted in people losing their jobs, being kicked out of home or having their rental tenancy terminated.
For more on the story of what happened during the first Mardi Gras, check out the Australian made movie ‘Riot’. The film contains photos and interviews with people who were there.
Pride is the opposite of shame and social stigma. It’s about being proud of yourself and where you come from. Pride is the outlook that supports most LGBTQIA+ rights, groups, and movements in Australia and worldwide. Pride has lent its name to LGBTQIA+ themed events, organisations, institutes, book titles, foundations, TV stations, and more.
Honour, educate, get involved and celebrate
There are many ways to honour and celebrate Pride Month, including educating yourself, using pronouns and inclusive language, making your news feed diverse and much more.
Pronouns are words that refer to a person other than their name. Some examples include identifying as she, he or they. Take the time to learn, respect and ask for people’s pronouns.
Words matter. That’s why it’s important to use and learn about inclusive language. Using inclusive language includes not questioning or make assumptions about someone’s gender, sexuality or relationship. This extends to referring to their partners and parents too.
Look into celebrations, parades, marches, parties, concerts and workshops both locally and internationally. Check out the Australian Pride Network to find events near you. 18 June is Autistic Pride Day.
Take the time to research more about the LGBTQIA+ community, the issues still present today and how to become an ally. Some great places to start are Twenty10, Minus18 and Wear It Purple. And remember to follow, listen to, and amplify LGBTQIA+ voices.
Some Australian LGBTQIA+ voices include:
If you are looking for work and identify as LGBTQIA+, check out our inclusive program, Rainbow WISE.