Why We Celebrate Pride

Rachel Golini, Writer

It’s that time of year; the colors of the rainbow will take to the streets for a month of vibrant celebration and fun. Those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community will unite through bonds of shared experiences, emotions, and struggles. Large corporations will profit off of rainbow merchandise, and protesters will make their opinion known at Pride events. 

Aside from these things, why does the United States celebrate Pride for the month of June every year? Let me take you back to the earlier days of your childhood; do you remember the excitement you felt seeing Frozen the movie in theaters in 2013? The majority of kids and adults raved about the movie when it was initally released, singing popular songs such “Let it Go.” At the same time, LGBTQ+ citizens still could not legally get married in the United States. Same-sex couples could not legally get married in the United States of America until June of 2015, after over 30 other countries had already passed the law. 

Pride isn’t anything new. On June 28, 1970, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, NYC. The individuals at the bar were thrown out to the street, and violently removed from the bar. For six days there were continuous protests in the surrounding area of the Stonewall Inn, fighting against the occurrences on June 28th. 

The Stonewall was and still is a beacon of freedom for members of the LGBTQ+ community. At the time of the riots, same-sex relationships were illegal, and gay clubs were frequently raided by police on the grounds of “disorderly conduct.” These riots weren’t the beginning of “gay liberation” but they acted as a catalyst for people to ignite change. 

The progress that has been made for gay rights since these events have occurred wouldn’t be possible without the humans who spoke proudly of their identity and fought to allow others to do so. Marsha P. Johnson, Black, American, transgender activist and survivor was one of the many voices that fought for change. She was one of the many transgender POC at the forefront of the Gay Liberation movement. 

These things aren’t taught in school, so it is important to educate yourself in order to have a better understanding of those around you. We celebrate Pride because freedom was not always a given for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. We celebrate Pride to honor those such as Marsha P. Johnson who oftentimes risked her life for gay liberation. We celebrate Pride so future generations will one day not suffer the cruelties of homophobia. As Pride ensues, remember why we celebrate, and let your actions be for those who were not always free.

Local Pride events for 2022:

Asbury Park Pride June 5, 2022 12p-6p

Downtown Toms River Pride June 11, 2022 11a-5p

NYC Pride June 26, 2022

Resources for LGBTQ+ youth:



Trans Lifeline Hotline at 877-565-8860