New York City. June 28, 1969. It is illegal for gay people to kiss, hold hands or even dance with a same-sex partner in public. Police frequently raid gay bars and clubs in the city, where they arrest any LGBT people doing anything illegal — including a bar called The Stonewall Inn. This is one of the most popular gay bars in the city, a haven for drag queens and homeless youth who are shunned elsewhere.
That morning, the police raid again. Only this time, the patrons fight back.
The Stonewall riots kickstarted the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. Fifty years ago, a year after the riots, the LGBT people of New York City held the first modern Pride march.
Today, June is still recognised as LGBT Pride Month as a tribute to Stonewall. Every summer, marches take place in hundreds of cities across the globe: up to 1.5 million people are thought to have attended London’s Pride parade last year.
In countries like the UK, where LGBT rights are accepted, Pride events have become a time of joy and celebration. But they are also a chance to campaign for the rights of LGBT people in other countries, or to protest against discrimination still faced at home.
Read Our Stories
The struggle for the true meaning of Pride
Should Pride be a protest or a party? We are halfway through LGBT Pride Month. But alongside the parades and celebrations, there are fears that hard-won gay rights are under threat.
Nearly 50% are open to same-sex experiences
Is everyone a little bit gay? A new poll has found that four in 10 people are open to a same-sex experience. The number rises among young people. Is sexuality more fluid than we think?
Global fury at Brunei’s ‘inhuman’ anti-gay law
Under new laws introduced today in the small Islamic kingdom, gay men face being stoned to death. The international community has condemned the move as “barbaric” and “abhorrent”.
Every June, businesses and advertisers turn to rainbow colours to show their support for the LGBT community. But are they being sincere, or just trying to make money? And does it matter? This video looks at a history of LGBT advertising, and puts it into context.
- As a class, discuss the meaning of the word “pride”. What does it mean? How important is it? And what sorts of things are you proud of?
- Decorate your classroom to celebrate Pride.
- Create a timeline of the last 51 years of LGBT history around the world, beginning with the Stonewall riots.