Statement from Chair Rios Recognizing Pride Month
As we begin Pride Month, let’s come together to uplift and celebrate the diverse identities that make up the LGBTQ+ community!
This is an opportunity for all Americans, not just LGBTQ+ people, to reflect on difficult periods in our history and recognize the progress that has been made since. From the legalization of same-sex marriage to the shift in inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ+ Americans in our culture, there is much to be celebrated. But, of course, work remains.
Throughout our nation’s history, the LGBTQ+ community, particularly Black, brown, transgender, and from other marginalized backgrounds, have faced compounded discrimination and adversity. They have endured intersecting forms of prejudice, navigating societal barriers and systemic challenges. In every possible way, LGBTQ+ people were disenfranchised and silenced. In spite of this, through persistence and mutual support of one another, the LGBTQ+ community has built a rich culture that has endured and thrived. We recognize and honor their unique experiences and contributions throughout our history.
This history came alive in the late 1960s with the gay liberation movement. Amid the civil rights and feminist movements, LGBTQ+ people, particularly those from historically marginalized communities, began to organize and push back on the laws and stigma that had kept them in the shadows. After a police raid on a popular gay bar, patrons like Marsha P. Johnson pushed back, fighting to free those that were arrested and protesting the singling out of LGBTQ+ establishments by the police. The spark was lit in June of 1969 with the Stonewall riots in New York City. One year later, on the anniversary of the riots, activists organized the first Gay Pride March, which now takes place in communities all around the world each year.
America250 is committed to creating the most inclusive commemoration in American history. This includes telling the stories of LGBTQ+ Americans throughout our history. We celebrate and welcome all the identities that make up this diverse and beautiful nation. Happy Pride Month!