To mark the 10th anniversary of the law allowing marriage for all, LGBT Talents takes a look back at the history of Pride Month.
Why do we talk about “Pride marches”, “Lesbian & Gay Pride”, “LGBTQIA+ Pride”, “Pride” or “Pride Month” every June all over the world?
Every year, Pride plays a leading role in promoting the visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and more (LGBTQIA+) people. It allows us to make public claims : freedom, equal rights for all and gender identity.
Pride marches have their origins in the Stonewall riots which took place on the night of June 28, 1969 in New York. At the time, the LGBT community was facing widespread discrimination and systematic repression. In many American states, laws criminalizing homosexuality were in force, and police violence against LGBT people was commonplace. Meeting places for LGBTQ+ people, such as bars and clubs, were often targeted by the police.
During the night of June 27-28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar frequented by the LGBT community in Greenwich Village. Police raids were frequent in these establishments, but this time, the customers of the Stonewall Inn decided to resist. The crowd quickly grew and tension mounted, leading to violent clashes between demonstrators and police. The revolt lasted several days and was the starting point for a large-scale mobilization for the rights of LGBT people.
The Stonewall uprising had a considerable impact on the LGBT movement, marking a change in attitude within the community itself.
The Stonewall uprisings raised the profile of the LGBT+ movement, drawing the attention of the media and the general public to the problems facing LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ people realized that they could stand up for themselves and were capable of resisting oppression. In tribute to the 1969 riots, the first “Gay Pride” was organized in June 1970 in New York.
Beyond the United States, Stonewall’s impact was felt around the world.
Seven years after the first gay pride march, the first French gay pride march was organized in 1977 in Paris, demanding official recognition of homosexuality and its decriminalization. With the arrival of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, which hit the LGBT community hard. New demands were brandished, such as the social union contract (forerunner of the Civil Solidarity Pact – PACS). As for the PACS, it will be voted on in 1999. Other causes will follow : Marriage and adoption for all (2013) and Medically Assisted Procreation (MAP) for all (2021).
In 2023, Pride will continue to make demands, as LGBTphobia persists, particularly in the workplace.
In its May 2023 study, AFL Diversity / BVA Consulting points out that 38% of LGBT+ people have encountered discriminatory or disrespectful behavior in the workplace. On the other hand, out of 11% of LGBT+ employees, 38% feel they have already been refused a raise, promotion or participation in a project on discriminatory grounds.
With the Paris Pride on June 24, 2023, we’d like to reiterate our desire to bring together students, professionals, activists and elected representatives to discuss the perception of LGBT+ people in the workplace, to give a voice and visibility to role models, and to learn about the issues they may face in order to create an inclusive environment.