WHAT IS A PRIDE?
A Pride is an event that every year, in thousands of cities around the world, puts some focus on the LGBTI+ community, its rights, its self-affirmation and its freedom. Pride means being proud about who you are and knowing that no one can change or restrict you. It is a feeling that goes against the shame and stigma to which LGBTI+ people have been exposed in history. Today, it is still important to see equality not only from an ideological point of view, but from a necessary, political and human point of view that brings together everyone: heterosexuals and not-heterosexuals. The parade typically known with the name of “Gay Pride” embodies this demand for recognition, a demand that is first and foremost human: gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and everyone who chooses to define themselves (or not define themselves) through a letter of the alphabet ask for visibility. A visibility that should come from people and institutions to go against politics and behaviours that have always put them aside and made them feel tolerated at most, as if they were deviated.
For these reasons, around the 30th of June hundreds of thousands of people – no matter their colour – parade in cities all around the world and the month in which Pride is celebrated turns into an occasion to reflect about social rights, sexuality and identity through events and debates.
BUT WHY JUNE?
28th June 1969, 1:20 am. The police bursts into Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the neighbourhood of Greenwich Village, New York. It is the umpteenth attack towards homosexuals: the police arrests people with the excuse of indecency (for their clothes or way of behaving in public) or for some irregularities in their licences to sell alcoholic drinks. This time, someone reacts and encourages everyone to do something. A violent rebellion against the police arises and lasts for many nights. Drag queens, transsexuals, gays, lesbians and people who happen to be in that neighbourhood find themselves against the riot police Tactical Patrol. Bottles and rocks against batons. Many people are arrested, others get hurt.
Learning from the feminist movements of ’68 and the marches for black people’s rights, a strong movement that fights for the LGBT+ community’s rights is created. In 1969, in the month of July, Martha Shelley founds the Gay Liberation Front. She is soon copied by many others. 28th June 1970: to remember the Stonewall riots, GFL organises a march that goes from the Village to Central Park. That was the first Gay Pride in history. The Stonewall National Monument was established at the site of the riots in 2016.