Celebrating Pride

A look at the history of Pride Month

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June across the country and in Indiana.

Tanner Alexander, board president of Indy Pride, said Tuesday, “Pride month means a lot to a lot of different people. I think the two biggest focus areas of this month are really the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community as well as the history that has gotten us to where we are now.”

In late June 1969, a police raided at a well-known gay bar in New York City called the Stonewall Inn. At the time, raids happened at establishments where gay people were known to be served drinks. The Stonewall Inn wasn’t the only bar in town that was the target of raids. That sparked an uprising of resistance, and protests.

“Clearly, it was about not having an inclusive space. lt was about not being mistreated and being looked down upon and being made to feel less than other people in society,” Alexander said.

Before the 1960s, almost everything about living openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender was illegal. Rebellion sparked momentum for a movement.

Alexander said, “It was led — and kind of the figurehead, if you will, of the whole movement — was a trans woman of color. I think that’s incredibly important to point out now. It especially was then, but now, especially as we are realizing that this is a part of our community that needs to be recognized for their dedication to fighting for equality since the ’60s.”

Alexander said a lot of progress has happened since then, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States in 2015. “When that was achieved, when the Supreme Court announced that a man and a man and a woman and a woman and anyone in between can now marry the partner that they choose, that’s a huge deal,” Alexandersaid.

He says there is still work to be done, such as listening more intentionally to the voices of people of color and transgender people, and making sure they have seats at every table. He also hopes people outside the LGBTQ+ community will better understand. “We in the community are all so different. It would really add a lot of value to talk to individuals who don’t look like you, who might not think like you, who don’t live the same life as you and understand what it is they want,” Alexander said. “Because what someone else wants is not going to match up with what I want in my life. I don’t want it to seem as if there’s one voice for Pride Month.”

Alexander also encourages people to show up and support organizations that serve the LGBTQ+ community.

He adds that it’s also important that people do their own research and look into their own misconceptions and things they’d like to learn and rectify. He says come celebrate, learn and have fun.

Alexander provided links on Pride in central Indiana:

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