New York City, 28 June, 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. The Stonewall Inn 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.

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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.


  1. At home or 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?
  2. Decorate your classroom to celebrate Pride.
  3. Create a timeline of the last 51 years of LGBT history around the world, beginning with the Stonewall riots.