June has been largely recognized as Pride Month by the LGBTQ+ community for decades, first as a way to commemorate the Stonewall riots that occurred in late June 1969. Stonewall was a series of spontaneous demonstrations from members of the LBGTQ+ community over the course of June 28 through July 3 and is often cited as the turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. The first Pride marches, events that are now looked forward to in numerous cities across the globe, were held in New York City and San Francisco on the first anniversary of Stonewall.
On June 15, 2020 the Supreme Court made a landmark decision extending Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to protect millions of LGBTQ+ workers. Workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and sexual orientation, is deemed unconstitutional. This historic ruling applies to discrimination in the workplace and opens the door to challenge discrimination on the basis of sex across other facets of American society, such as the Customer Non-Discrimination Act. This act would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation in public accommodations like retail stores, restaurants and healthcare. Currently, there is no law preventing businesses like these from denying services to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
This year, Pride celebrations look and feel very different due to COVID-19 and the recent protests following the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks. Pride’s roots are in protest and advocacy, starting with Stonewall, and it’s incredibly important that we amplify the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, many of whom are also people of color. If you have the means to financially support organizations advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, check out these organizations:
Immigration Equality is America’s leading LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrant rights organization. Immigration Equality advocate for immigrants and families facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status by providing direct legal services, policy advocacy, and impact litigation.
LGBTQ+’s mission is to curb the disproportionate harms of mass incarceration on the queer community. Freedom Fund posts bond to secure the release and safety of LGBTQ+ people in jail and immigration detention. They have freed people from different states all over the country.
Founded in 2002, Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. TLC changes law, policy, and attributes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
LAMBDA Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization. Since 1973, LAMBDA Legal works to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through litigation, education and public policy work. They advocate for public policy to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people as well as lead high-impact education campaigns to help people exercise the rights they have.
Pride Foundation is dedicated to building a better, safer, and more equitable world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people and our families in the Northwest. Pride Foundation is motivated by their belief that every person should be able to live safely, openly, and genuinely in the places we call home.
GLAAD was founded in 1985 by a small group of journalists and writers in response to New York’s grossly sensationalized HIV and AIDS coverage. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change through entertainment, news, and digital media.
Human Rights Campaign Foundation the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization. HRCF is committed to advocating for LGBTQ+ equality and educating the public about LGBTQ+ issues. HRCF improves the lives of LGBTQ people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGTBQ-inclusive policies and practices.
Equality Federation Institute is the movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations advocating for LGBTQ+ people. Equal Federation is motivated by their belief that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people should have a fair and equal opportunity to thrive and provide for themselves and their families in every community.
Founded in 1998, the Trevor Project is the leading national nonprofit organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth. The Trevor Project proves a national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGTBQ+ youth.
GLSEN is a nonprofit organization founded by a group of teachers in 1990. Since then, GLSEN has been working to ensure that LGTBQ+ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Today, after over 25 years of leading the movement, GLSEN’s national network is more than 1.5 million strong, with students, families, educators, and education advocates working to create safe schools.
Family Equality Council was founded in 1979 at the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights. Family Equality is dedicated to advancing legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.
While COVID-19 has prompted the cancellation of in-person Pride events that are typically held throughout June, many cities are still hosting virtual celebrations. If you’re looking to join a virtual Pride celebration this year, Global Pride 2020 is a livestream event being hosted on Saturday, June 27th. The event will bring together activists, artists, allies and other members of the LGBTQ+ community in a worldwide celebration of Pride!