Pride Month & the Stonewall Riots

June is Pride month!

What’s Pride Month? June celebrates LGBTQIA+ people and their struggle for recognition and rights in the eyes of the law. LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual. The + (plus) indicates all other orientations and genders.  Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots (aka Stonewall uprising, Stonewall rebellion). They took place at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NY from June 28-July 1, 1969.

What was Stonewall?

While the gay rights movement had been underway for years, the Stonewall Riots were a tipping point. They brought many issues surrounding social, legal, and political discrimination of LGBT people to the U.S. public’s notice. At that time, in Greenwich, NY, police would frequently raid bars and clubs suspected of serving any LGBT people or having LGBT employees. While accounts of exact details differ, June 28, 1969 marked the first time there was a sustained group protest against these measures. This protest quickly escalated to violence on both sides, and the riots continued off and on for several days. You can read a timeline of the the Stonewall Riots on, or check out nonfiction books for kids, teens, and adults that explore this chapter of American history.

Longer-term effects included the creation of campaigns for anti discrimination laws and the inaugural Pride Parade in 1970, which started from the Stonewall Inn on the riots’ first anniversary. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination not only against a person’s biological sex, but also their gender identity and sexual identity.

These riots took place in the middle of the era of Vietnam War protests, toward the end of years of major Civil Rights demonstrations, and a few years before the Equal Rights Amendment would be passed. People of all walks of life were thinking about what “all [people] are created equal” should mean in the United States during this time.

Learn More

You can explore the issues and gain insight into all kinds of different people’s rights by checking out the  Opposing Viewpoints book on Discrimination. Each Opposing Viewpoint book presents questions and provides informed answers from a variety of viewpoints.
You can also explore the
Gender Studies Database, which includes articles, interviews, news releases, and more. All are free with your YCL card!

And did you know Martin Library has an annual award-winning Pride Dance for teens?

Click or tap to explore some book selections on Pride for all ages, available at YCL.

View titles from our collection

Click the image below to view some selections linked to our catalog.