Out and proud: Every year the queer community uses June to celebrate their identity and fight for equality. Under the abbreviation LSBTQAI, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, as well as trans, queer, asexual and intersex people unite to stand up for their rights together.
The so-called “Pride Month” of June is about more than happy, colorful parades. Historically, too, Pride Month is based on protests and demonstrations.
In New York in the ’60s and ’70s, violent raids on queer bars were common, often followed by charges of “obscene behavior.” In addition to holding hands and kissing, this behavior included the mere presence in such a bar. The “Stonewall Inn” was also affected – a pub with a predominantly gay and trans clientele, located on Christopher Street.
In 1969, at the end of June, there were a particularly large number of queer people in New York, since the funeral of gay icon Judy Garland had taken place before that. When the Stonewall Inn was raided again during the night of June 27th and a lesbian woman was violently arrested in the course of which, the visitors of the bar offered resistance for the first time. In fact, they managed to successfully expel the police.
The protests were to continue for several days afterwards and went down in history as the Stonewall riots. They mark a crucial turning point in the fight for the visibility and rights of the US LGBTQAI community.
Following the Christopher Street riots, the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed, the first major organization to openly and confrontationally advocate for gay and lesbian rights. A year later they organized a march to commemorate the Stonewall riots – Christopher Street Day was born. Since then, a parade has been celebrated in the USA on the last Sunday in June.
To commemorate the Stonewall riots, to draw attention to persistent discrimination and to celebrate the diversity of society, the whole of June has been designated Pride Month. Former US President Bill Clinton officially recognized 2000 as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.
Since the late 1970s, demonstrations have formed in Germany, which only later merged with international movements. The Berlin CSD took place for the first time in 1979.
Every year there are parades around the world during the period in and around June. New York Pride traditionally takes place on the last Sunday in June, while Christopher Street Day is celebrated in Berlin on July 23. There are many Pride parades in many cities around the world.
But the month is also celebrated culturally, for example in the form of queer film festivals or parties. Numerous references to other marginalized groups, such as the Disability Pride, which campaigns against ableism (discrimination against people with disabilities), have emerged from this.
Many companies also feel called upon to share their declarations of solidarity. Whether out of genuine solidarity or for PR reasons, it can always be questioned anew.
You can often recognize Pride Month when the logos of large companies suddenly appear in rainbow colors. However, this is often the only measure. This is also referred to as “pinkwashing”.
Instead of performative solidarity, many critics call for actual commitment from companies to the queer community. Internal measures are particularly important here: a fashion company should not only print “Love is Love” on T-shirts, but also work on positioning itself as a queer-friendly employer.
While it is only 30 years since WHO recognized that homosexuality is not a disease, trans identity is still classified in the ICD to this day. In just 30 countries, same-sex couples are currently allowed to marry. Adoption law is often regulated separately. So far, non-binary or trans people have not been considered at all in most regulations.
Discrimination against queer people is also still the order of the day. Acts of violence, including in Germany, have recently increased sharply.
Prejudices are reproduced again and again, as was recently observed in the sometimes homophobic reporting on the new monkeypox virus. So it is not surprising that coming out is still associated with great effort for many young queer people.