As Pride season gets underway Jenny Crocker, Service Manager and Co-Chair of Riverside’s LGBT staff group, looks at the history behind the celebrations.
Every year, starting in the month of June, the LGBT community celebrates Pride.
Across the globe, various events are held during this season as a way of recognising the influence LGBT people have had around the world.
June was chosen as it was when the Stonewall Riots took place back in 1969 – almost 50 years ago – but now, many Pride events take place throughout the summer.
The riots were prompted by a raid that took place during the early morning, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
The LGBT community held a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations to protest against the raid and calling for the establishment of places that gays and lesbians could go and be open about their sexual orientation.
The riots served as a catalyst for the rights of LGBT people, and within six months, two gay activist groups had formed in New York.
It was 1972 before the first British Pride march was held in London. A time line of activist events and history landmarks for Britain can be found here.
As you can see thing have improved drastically over the last 50 years, and I count myself very lucky to be a bisexual in the UK, with much to celebrate.
I have had some unpleasant experiences as have most LGBT individuals, and Riverside is the first organisation I have worked for where I have felt comfortable being out. So there is still some way to go even here in the UK.
But one of the statistics that staggers many people is that across the globe there are still 74 countries where being gay or bisexual is illegal, 13 of which where it is punishable by death.
Throughout the year Riverside’s LGBT staff network, Spectrum, is involved in events and campaigns to support and champion LGBT rights, and this summer we have several Pride events including Liverpool, Manchester and Brighton.
We’re also supporting Stonewall’s #ComeOutForLGBT campaign trying to create an even more friendly, supportive and inclusive workplace where people are comfortable to be themselves whatever their sexuality or gender identity.