For those of you who don’t already know, June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. I know, it isn’t June quite yet. However, I am so excited and I just can’t wait! I am beyond thrilled for this year, and couldn’t resist writing about it early.
During this summer, there will be multiple days worthy of noting in honor of Pride Month available for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as their allies to acknowledge or even participate in if they choose. A few of these are more celebratory, while others are more in honor of more serious topics involving the LGBTQ+ community. Either way, through the whole month, companies such as Target and Spencers’ have been known to display Pride Month merchandising for those who need to stock up on more rainbow gear! After all, you can never have too many rainbows in your life.
One of the more serious holidays that was previously mentioned includes Pulse Night of Remembrance on June 12 in honor of the 49 people who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando during the summer of 2016. Even two years later, these souls haven’t been forgotten and have become a large symbol of the LGBTQ+ movement.
Then of course, there’s the annual PrideFest 2018 in Saint Louis specifically on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, being held at Soldiers’ Memorial Park, Market Street between N. 15th St. & N. Tucker St. While there are many Pride Festivals and Pride Parades all over the country throughout the whole month, Saint Louis’s PrideFest is the closest one to our area for anyone who wants to attend and have a great time! There are also many smaller events provided nearly daily by Pride Stl, the organization who graciously makes Saint Louis’s PrideFest possible every year.
June 26th is the anniversary of when the U.S. finally legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. This was one of the most important dates for LGBTQ+ Americans and allowing them to finally marry the person they want to spend their lives with and receive the proper rights associated with that. A couple of these rights including being able to be with your spouse in a hospital room, receiving tax benefits, easier access to adoption, and being covered by your spouse’s insurance.
Finally, June 28th is the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, where a brave group of LGBTQ+ people rebelled against a police raid that morning. This particular event played a huge part in the LGBTQ+ movement towards equal rights in the U.S. for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
For more information on any events happening close by in the St.Louis area, you can check https://www.pridestl.org/ online. You can also make online donations to Pride Stl at that same website, as well as donate to the Ali Forney Center at https://www.aliforneycenter.org/ who help homeless LGBTQ+ youth, or at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project https://srlp.org/ who can help provide legal representation to LGBTQ+ people facing illegal discrimination, or even the Trevor Project at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ who help provide toll free helplines to LGBTQ+ youth. There are so, so many others that you can donate to as well, all with very worthy causes. So, donate, participate, and have a very gay time this pride month!