(WKBN) – June is LGBTQ Pride Month, a time associated with festivals, parades and performing drag queens, but it didn’t start that way.
The first “Pride” was a riot started by two transgender women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
In 1970, police raided a gay bar at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. It was one of the few bars where gay people were welcomed and allowed people of the same sex to dance together. At the time, that was illegal in NYC.
Pride Month now celebrates the trailblazers who fought for equality.
“It’s important to have Pride Month because to allow us as a community to show the world that we are proud of who we are, we should not have to be in the closet. Closets are for dresses, they are not for people to hide in, and we should be able to show we are proud of who we are,” said Kevin Ulatowski, an LGBTQ advocate.
The Stonewall Inn uprising lasted nearly a week. The riot is considered to be the catalyst that sparked the gay rights movement in America.