In light of Pride Month, B P Collins’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee reflects on how the concept began and how it’s marking the occasion.
The concept of Pride Month began with the Stonewall riots, which took place in New York for six days from 28th June until 4th July 1969. Although the riots did not start the LGBTQ+ movement, it certainly was a turning point for highlighting the importance of gay rights, and brought widespread attention to the repression of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The riots began as a result of a police raid at a bar in Greenwich, New York, which was a hub for the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community at the time. Although this was common, members of the LGBTQ+ community decided to fight back for the first time against police harassment and social discrimination.
Around the time of the riots, homosexual acts were illegal in every state in America, except Illinois. In New York, bars and restaurants could be forced to shut down if they had gay employees or served gay patrons. Most of the gay bars and clubs in New York at the time were operated by the Mafia, who paid corrupt police officers to allow them to remain open.
One year after the riots, the first Pride marches were held across multiple US cities. The marches were led by prominent figures, such as Marsha P. Johnson, who was a trans woman of colour and influenced the gay rights movement. The goal of the marches was to commemorate the riots and push for further liberation. After the first marches, the Pride movement spread across the US to other cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago. The activism inspired gay rights movements worldwide to Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and more.
To celebrate this year’s Pride Month, B P Collins is arranging a colourful clothing event from Tuesday 27th June to Thursday 29th June. Any donations received will be donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the UK who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment.
For more information about B P Collins’ commitment to equality and diversity within the firm please visit: https://www.bpcollins.co.uk/about-us/equality-diversity-and-inclusion/