When you reduce your life to black and white, you’ll never see the rainbow.
Love is love: it has no gender, it is deserved by everyone, it sets us free. Love is the rainbow.
June has been designated as the official Pride Month, acting as a tribute to those who were involved in the Stonewall Riots – an uprising in New York during June 1969 that escalated the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States. Although there is still a lot of progress yet to take place with LGBTQ+ rights, this month acknowledges the strides we have made, raises awareness for important issues for the LGBTQ+ community and celebrates love in all its wonderful shapes and forms.
But before we get ready to wave away our rainbow flags, sprinkle ourselves in glitter, and embrace the spirit of this month, it is first important to learn about some of the significant social movements and pride events that have occurred to get us where we are.
Pride Day, a sub-holiday during this glorious month, is celebrated on June 28, marking the date in history when the first pride parade was held in New York, 1970. However, different communities tend to celebrate Pride Day on different days throughout Pride Month.
Pride Month History
The Stonewall Riots
1969: New York.
It was a hot summer’s night on June 28 when the police raided the gay club, the Stonewall Inn. As a result, bar patrons and neighbourhood residents commenced a 6-day riot on the street outside, involving protests and clashes. The message of the movement was clear: to establish places where LGBTQ+ people could be open about their sexual orientation without the fear of being arrested; places where they could be liberated.
Known as ‘The Mother of Pride’ and credited as having started Pride Month, Brenda Howard is a bisexual activist who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade a year after the Stonewall Riots. This movement not only morphed into what is now known as the ‘New York City Pride March,’ but it also was the catalyst and influence for the formation of other similar marches globally.
The Rainbow Flag
1978: San Francisco.
Other notable individuals include Harvey Milk, a gay politician, who asked his talented friend, Gilbert Baker, to design an all-encompassing emblem as the gay community flourished and began fighting for its rights. He wanted this symbol to be brought to the Pride March in San Francisco in 1978. According to Robert Tobin, PhD and teacher of gay and lesbian studies and queer theory at Clark University, the gay pride flag “was and is a cheerful, upbeat, optimistic, and instantly identifiable symbol of the LGBTQ+ community…”, and the colours “were chosen from the rainbow, a symbol of hope ever since Noah’s flood.”
Fun fact: the flag was originally supposed to be made with eight colours instead of six. But Gilbert wound up having to axe the two colours, turquoise and pink, in order to make the design simple enough for mass production.
3 presidents, 3 recognitions. Bill Clinton was the first U.S. President to officially recognize Pride Month in 1999 and 2000. Subsequently, from 2009 to 2016, Barack Obama declared the month of June as LGBT Pride Month. Thirdly, in May 2019, Donald Trump recognized Pride Month when he tweeted that his administration had launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. But, critics have taken this with a pinch of salt, noting that actions speak louder than words.
Pride Month Traditions
This month is a time for everyone to embrace who they are and open themselves up to the world. The community takes huge pride in their movement and they never fail to make a statement doing so. The glitter they wear expressly represents their inner sparkle and brightness for the world to see, whereas the rainbow symbolises all the colourful activities, marvellous events and different flavours of the Pride Month celebrations. Such festivities range from pride parades and rallies to parties and concerts, attracting individuals from every corner of the world to participate.
Pride Month Outfits
After knowing the history, significance, and progressions of Pride Month, we are ready to delve into the more fun stuff! Whether you are waving your flag, participating in a pride parade or simply want to dress up for the occasion, you can definitely show your support by sporting symbolic rainbow colours (or other patterns and colours of flags for other groups within the greater community).
Especially after a rather grim year involving a digression from normal life due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is all the more fitting that we wear some colour again and sparkle in some brightness into the world. So here’s presenting to you some Pride-inspired, London Rag ‘fits for you to rock this June.
1. Tie-Dye Dresses
If you are in search of comfort but still want to embody the spirit of Pride Month, then this tie-dye dress is your solution. Pair it with your go-to white sneakers and you’re good to go!
2. Tie-Dye Parade Sets
When you go on all your marches, you are going to be in need of suitable clothing that not only matches the activeness of your stride, but also the spirit of the event. That is why this tie-dye fitness yoga co-ord set is the perfect fit.
3. Printed Tops
Show your support in this colourful printed tunic top. Its short sleeves, slightly loose fit and openness make this outfit a great option in light of the summer heat.
4. One Strap Tops
And for those even hotter days, you will definitely want to let those shoulders breathe. In that case, this top is the one to opt for. Plus, you can get that sun-kissed glow while you’re at it!
5. Sweater Dresses
But if you reside in a slightly warmer place, sweater dresses are a great pick. Oversized. Rainbow. Knitted. Need we really say more?
Pride Month is a time for the LGBTQ+ community, and all its supporters, to come together and commemorate the acceptance of sexual diversity. With all the parades, parties, and progressions, individuals can meet new like-minded people and join forces to celebrate love. Having said that, the emphasis might be on fun, but the month also signals a time to reflect and discuss issues pertaining to the gay rights movement. From gay marriage to gay adoption to transgender rights, we have a lot more to learn about, fight for, and strive towards.
Therefore, even though the 30 days of June have been appointed as the official month to celebrate Pride, love should nevertheless be honoured during the remaining 335 days of the year because love always wins; love is the rainbow.