June is set in the calendar as LGBT Pride Month. In June of 2000, former President Bill Clinton deemed the month of June, “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” The month was chosen to commemorate a riot in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. This event is thought to be the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States. Additionally, many local Pride Festivals and Pride Parades are held throughout the month.
The Pride movement has shaped the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This allows this community to promote their self-affirmation, dignity and equal rights. In June, through various means such as festivals and parades, this LGBT community increases their visibility as a social group, builds community and celebrates sexual diversity and gender variance. This has grown into a worldwide movement and philosophy asserting that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
June is now the month of acceptance and the month to welcome diversity in communities regardless of sexual orientation. A large part of Pride events is memorializing those lost to HIV and AIDS. Since the early 1980s, thousands of people have lost their lives and while research and treatment improves, no one forgets the terrifying time when HIV/AIDS was almost certainly a death sentence. June is a time to break the stigma attached to this infection and prove that nowadays people can live long, healthy lives even with an HIV diagnosis.
Every year, the festivities surrounding Pride Month grow. This year, many cities are having their first ever Pride Parades and festivals. Some of these events are taking place in cities and states that have historically pushed back against the LGBT movement. Cities in Indiana, a state that has notoriously passed laws aimed to deter the LGBTQ movement, are at the top of this list including Columbus and Lawrenceburg. Additionally, Starkville, Mississippi in the deep south will be celebrating its first pride parade.
As the inclusion seems to grow, and more and more communities embrace the LGBT portions of their neighborhoods, the stigma attached to sexual orientation dies down. Much of this is due, in part, to the nation recognizing this month and celebrating it. LGBT Pride Month is a perfect time to learn your sexual health status. The best way to do this is by having STD and HIV testing performed. This will allow you to celebrate safely and without concerns about your sexual health.