This year’s Pride Month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which took place on June 28, 1969. The initial commemorations of which evolved into the Pride events that are now held around the world annually. While Stonewall wasn’t the first time the LGBTQ+ community rose up and took to the streets to resist repressive and abusive treatment, the community members who fought back at Stonewall that night lit the spark that exploded into the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
Throughout the month of June, we observe Pride Month with marches, festivities, and events. We remember these protests and celebrate our unique identities and common bonds as community members. By marching, celebrating, and living our lives Out and Proud, we pay homage to those who first fought back at Stonewall, including trans women Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson as well as lesbian Stormé DeLarverie.
We remember the hardworking organizers who picked up the fight and kept up the momentum, laying down the groundwork for the rainbow-filled celebrations we know today. People like Brenda Howard, a bisexual rights activist who is known as the “Mother of Pride” for her work in coordinating that first New York Pride March, are honored.
As part of its long-time commitment to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, Eastern Bank will be marching alongside us at multiple Pride celebrations throughout the month—which started on June 2nd at Quincy Pride and then Boston Pride on June 8th. You’ll also find a proud Eastern Bank presence at North Shore Pride and Cape Cod Pride on June 22nd as well as the Nashua Pride on June 29th.
Though Pride has evolved over the years from a protest march to a celebratory parade, it’s kept that revolutionary spirit at its core. As LGBTQ+ community members, we have made great strides in terms of acceptance and basic protections, but the fight continues as Pride remains vital in that struggle.
Regardless of the Pride celebrations, there are still queer and trans kids across the country who feel alone and outnumbered. For many of them, Pride is their first opportunity to find belonging and community, and to see others like themselves living proud, authentic lives.
Though it’s first and foremost a celebration of LGBTQ+ folks, Pride welcomes everyone. Whether you’re trans, bi, gay, lesbian, queer, or a cisgender and straight ally, you’re invited. Dance, shout, sing, march, celebrate, show the world your support and love for LGBTQ+ lives.
Throughout Pride Month, take the opportunity to wear all of your best rainbow gear! Whether it’s a simple rainbow pin, an elaborate rainbow dress, a trans or bi flag, or a vintage “Silence = Death” button, showing your Pride is easy and it helps more than you might realize. This simple act can make others feel less alone, inspire a trans coworker to come out, start a conversation, and perhaps even change the mind of someone who isn’t so accepting of LGBTQ+ folks. Whether it’s your first time or your 49th, this is the year to get out!
Celebrate Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising by finding a 2019 Pride event near you.