BJC team members show PRIDE
The BJC SPECTRA Connection group, hosted a virtual town hall in honor of pride month on June 15. Watch a replay of the discussion.
June is Pride Month, when the world’s LGBTQ+ communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. As in years past, BJC also will be celebrating Pride Month (see more below). To get things started, here’s a little bit about the history of Pride Month, as well as what it means to BJC team members.
How did it start?
The month of June was chosen in memory of the Stonewall uprising in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement.
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, and began hauling customers outside. At that time, police raids on gay bars were common. On that particular night, members of the city's gay community decided to fight back, led by transgender women of color. Patrons resisted arrest and a huge crowd of bystanders became involved in the uprising.
This helped create organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance, modeled after the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement. Members held protests, met with political leaders and disrupted public meetings to hold leaders accountable. The nation’s first gay pride marches took place a year after the Stonewall riots.
Who celebrates Pride Month?
Pride events are geared toward anyone who feels that their sexual identity and/or gender identity falls outside the mainstream. Allies and others may also attend events in solidarity and support of the LGBTQ+ community. The purpose of Pride Month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on history, both locally and nationally. In a non-COVID year, celebrations can include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops and concerts. Memorials also are held during this month for members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.
What is the origin of the rainbow flag and what do the colors stand for?
In 1978, San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., asked artist and designer Gilbert Baker to make a flag for the city’s upcoming Pride celebrations. Baker, a well-known gay rights activist, used stripes, similar to the American flag, and got inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the many groups within the gay community.
The rainbow flag is widely recognized as the symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) community, as well as a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride. Each color on the flag has its own meaning. In the well-known six-color flag, red is symbolic of life, orange symbolizes spirit, yellow is sunshine, green is nature, blue represents harmony and purple is spirit. In the original eight-color flag, hot pink was included to represent sex and turquoise to represent magic.
The Pride flags have gone through many designs over the years and one of the most commonly used flags is the updated Progress Pride flag, designed in 2018 by graphic designer Daniel Quasar. Quasar added a five-colored chevron to the classic rainbow flag to place a greater emphasis on “inclusion and progression.” Quasar’s Progress Pride Flag added five arrow-shaped lines to the six-color rainbow flag.
The Progress Pride Flag includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color, along with the colors pink, light blue and white, which are used on the Transgender Pride Flag.
The Transgender Pride Flag, created by Monica Helms, an openly transgender American woman, has two light blue stripes, which is the traditional color for baby boys, two pink stripes for girls, and a white stripe in the center for those who are transitioning, who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersex.