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News | June 23, 2021

The history of Pride Month

By 316th Wing Historian

In June, we celebrate and recognize Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history; locally, nationally, and internationally.    

The Stonewall Riots occurred due to a raid by New York City police on the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village on June 28th, 1969. Angered by police harassment and social discrimination, the events of June 28th sparked six days of protests and galvanized the gay rights movement. America’s first gay pride parade was held on the one-year anniversary of the riots.

Pride Month was first recognized in 1994 when a coalition of education-based organizations in the United States designated October as LGBT History Month. The federal government first recognized the month in 1999 when President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” In 2009, President Barack Obama declared June LGBT Pride Month. On 1 June 2021, President Joe Biden declared June LGBTQ Pride Month.

The Department of Defense celebrated its first Pride Month in June of 2012 following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011. Here at Joint Base Andrews, we have honored Pride Month in a number of ways with the first full scale celebration in 2017 with the theme “LGBT: I am an American Airman.” During the month, Airmen served as parade marshals for the Washington, D.C. Capital Pride parade, participated in a 5K run, and held a panel discussion. This year’s celebrations will include a Pride Month Panel broadcasted on Joint Base Andrews Facebook page and a Pride Day Color Run at 7 a.m. on the 28th of June.