Pride Origins: A Look at Our Leaders

Published On: June 18, 2021Categories: Community & Culture

Happy Pride Month! We celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride in June because of the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan of 1969. The Stonewall Riots served as the catalyst for the gay rights movement all around the world. Pride is all about the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual/ally community. The goal of Pride is to promote LGBTQIA+ self-affirmation, dignity, and equal rights as well as increase their visibility as a social group, build unity, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

Let’s meet two legendary leaders of the Stonewall Riots where Pride originates. As the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City, Sylvia Rivera (pictured on the right) was rumored to have thrown the first bottle that began the riots. Rivera had been fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights for years prior to this as well. Rivera was the cofounder of the Gay Activists Alliance as well as the Gay Liberation Front alongside Marsha P. Johnson (pictured on the left). Johnson was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Together they cofounded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.).

These heroic leaders started on a mission, that we continue to celebrate and support today. Happy Pride from the Y and together we can keep up the fight for equal rights and ensure a safe, loving community for all!


Do you want to know more about the LGBTQIA+ community? Check out the Pride Foundation!

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