It’s Pride Month, so What Exactly is Pride?

–by Kara Friend

June is “Pride Month,” which means it is time to reflect on the meaning of “pride” and give a little context/history on how Pride came to be. The month of June is a time to celebrate, honor, and recognize sexual minorities*.

Historically, Pride was started as a nod to the 1969 Manhattan Stonewall Riots. As the social climate toward sexual minorities became more restrictive, members of the sexual minority community began creating underground communities, in which there was freedom of expression and all sexual orientations were welcome. These communities freely expressed their identities and did not subscribe to contemporary ideals about sexual orientation.

In response to this movement, police raided a bar known for its popularity amongst sexual minorities. The Stonewall Inn patrons fought off the raid, sparking discrimination protests all across town, and paving the way for many advocacy groups to follow.

The civil rights movement for sexual minorities has been a slow progression since the Riots. The first “gay pride parades” took place one year after the Stonewall Riots. It was not until 4 years after the Stonewall riots that homosexuality was removed as a mental illness from psychologist’s diagnostic manual. Despite this, we waited another 23 years until we had one state that would recognize “civil-unions” (good job Vermont!). Fast forward to June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court recognized the Constitutional rights of same-sex couples nation-wide.

So, how far have we come in these past 46 years and how much further do we need to go? June is a designated time to remind us to reflect on the progress we have made and the steps we need to continue to make for equity in the United States.

*Ok, what is a sexual minority?? An umbrella term that is used to described someone who does not identify as heterosexual, or the majority sexual orientation. Some examples of sexual minorities include: gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, questioning, and queer.

PDX Pride 2016 Events

June 9, 8:00 PM – 12:00 AM on June 10: Pride Kick Off Party @ My Bartender

June 10, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM: The Queer Comedy Showcase @ Curious Comedy Theater

June 14, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Meet the Author @ Q Center

June 15, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM: Screening of Grandma @ Academy Theater

June 17, 9:30 PM – 11:55 PM: GLOW Run @ SW Morrison & SW Naito PKWY

June 18 – 19, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Portland Pride Festival @Tom McCall Waterfront Park

  • June 18th
    • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Portland Trans Pride March
    • 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Portland Dyke March

June 18 – June 19, 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM: Gaylabration @ The Crystal Ballroom


Another Believer/Wikimedia Commons


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