By: Delanee Ensley
June is here, and you know what that means, happy Pride Month! Though most of us know that June is considered Pride month, not all of us know why, or how Pride came to be.
There is a long history gay activism before Pride came to be, like the story of Henry Gerber. According to History, Henry Gerber was a German immigrant who resided in Chicago, and created the first documented gay rights organization in the US in 1924. Gerber, and the other members of his organization created a newsletter titled ‘Friends and Freedom,’ which was the first gay-interest newsletter. Though the police forced them to disband in 1925, it spread a message, and 90 years later Gerber’s home in Chicago even became designated as a national landmark. Though it may not look like Gerber accomplished much, the fact of the matter is that he got people to pay attention. Though it might not have always been positive it was still spreading word so that maybe someone who needed to hear it did.
For years leading up to the event that would change LGBTQ+ history forever there was frustration and outcry from those who just wanted to be treated like any other individual. This is why on the night of June 28, 1969, a police raid, something that was unfortunately the norm, finally set anger into action. The members of the Stonewall Inn decided enough was enough and the historic Stonewall Rebellion was spurred into action and lasted for 5 days. They were tired of the brutality and violence that was their world during this time, and so they fought back.
This date, June 28th, would forever have a meaning to the people of LGBTQ+. The next year on this exact date, the date of the beginning of the Stonewall Rebellion the previous year, The Christopher Street March took place in New York City where 3 to 5 thousand people marched in celebration and alliance. The Christopher Street March was brought back again and again, only now the name has changed to The Pride March, with the slogan ‘Say it Loud, Gay is Proud.’ History states that L. Craig Schoonmaker was an intrical part to this slogan, as ‘Gay Power,’ was orgiginally the top contender, but when Schoonmaker said that while gay people lacked power, the one thing they had was Pride.
This story has been told and retold for decades, and hopefully will continue for decades to come. Through pop culture the Stonewall Revolution and the many individuals who were there have had their stories shared throughout the world. They were brave, they were frustrated, and most importantly they had Pride.