LGBT Pride Month 2021: What to know about its history, events, parades

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(NEW YORK) — Every summer in the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community comes together for a monthlong celebration of love, diversity, acceptance and unashamed self-pride.

Here’s everything you need to know about LGBT Pride Month:

What is LGBT Pride Month?

The month is meant to recognize the sweeping impact that LGBT individuals, advocates and allies have on history in the United States and around the globe, according to the Library of Congress.

When is it?

LGBT Pride Month is celebrated every year in June.

The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the riots held by members of the LGBT community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969.

The so-called Stonewall riots were a “tipping point” for the gay liberation movement in the United States, according to the Library of Congress. The uproar also paved the way for the modern fight for LGBT rights.

Previous U.S. presidents have, on several occasions, officially declared June as LGBT Pride Month.

How do people celebrate LGBT Pride Month?

LGBT Pride Month events draw millions of participants from around the world each year. Typically, there are monthlong celebrations and in-person gatherings that take place across the nation, including pride parades, marches, parties, concerts, workshops and symposiums. Memorials are also often held for members of the LGBT community who have lost their lives to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

The rainbow LGBT flag is prominently displayed throughout the month. Gilbert Baker, an American artist, gay rights activist and U.S. Army veteran, created the flag in 1978 as a new symbol for the gay and lesbian political movement at the suggestion of his friends and colleagues, including Harvey Milk, a San Francisco city supervisor and the first openly gay elected official in California. Milk was assassinated later that year.

According to Baker’s website, the colors of the LGBT flag each have a meaning: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and violet for spirit.

Baker died at the age of 65 on March 31, 2017, though his rainbow flag remains an iconic, powerful symbol for LGBT pride.

This year’s LGBT Pride Month will be celebrated differently due to the coronavirus pandemic, but after the virus canceled nearly every in-person event in 2020, many are back this year. All 50 U.S. states have started to lift stay-at-home orders and other restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus as vaccinations increase and cases decrease.

Still, some of the LGBT events will be a mixture of in-person and online events.

What LGBT Pride Month events will take place this year?

A number of official events that would normally be held in various cities across the nation throughout the month will now be taking place online. Here are some of the more prominent celebrations:

  • Boston Pride will host a series of virtual events throughout the month, including the raising of the rainbow pride flag on June 4 at noon and the annual Pride Lights on June 8 to commemorate those affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The annual Quincy Pride event will take place in-person on June 6 at noon. There will also be a Pride Night at Fenway Park for the Red Sox game on June 10.
  • While the Pride Parade will not be held, Los Angeles announced its first in-person Pride event will take place on LGBTQ+ Night at the Dodgers game on June 11. A second in-person event will also be held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, when Cinespia presents an LGBTQ+ Movie Night on June 26. Los Angeles ABC station KABC-TV will air a “Thrive with Pride Celebration” special on June 12 at 9 p.m.
  • The New York City Pride Rally will take place virtually on June 25, while the Pride March, normally the biggest in the nation, will also take place virtually on June 27. However, the organizers say there will be “as to-be-determined in-person elements” of the parade.
  • San Francisco Pride will be hosting two movie nights on June 11 and 12 at Oracle Park. The first night will feature the new film In the Heights, based on the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, while the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which isn’t set to premiere on Amazon Prime until September, will screen on the second night.
  • Chicago Pride announced it will hold its annual parade in October, once restrictions further ease. But they will still have a number of events in June, including Pride in the Park on June 26 and 27 at Grant Park, featuring a number of soon-to-be-named national musical performers.
  • Seattle Pride will hold a series of virtual events on June 26 and 27, including concerts, performances and panels.

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