As if you needed an excuse, it’s time to dig out your rainbow memorabilia — LGBT Pride is just around the corner, and we’re excited.
The month of June has been celebrated as Pride month around the world for more than 40 years, even before President Barack Obama declared it National Pride Month in 2015. Every year the celebrations get bigger and better. Here are ten things we love about LGBT Pride month.
It’s a great time to brush up on LGBT history. In the midst of love and rainbows, it’s easy to forget that pride is a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, a three-day protest against police brutality in the underground gay community of Greenwich Village back in 1969. What better way to send a nod of appreciation than by showing up to celebrate?
If you’re lucky enough to live in a big city with an active LGBT community, the entire month of June is filled to the brim with art shows, film festivals, concerts and fundraisers to raise awareness. By the time you get to the pride parade, you might well be exhausted.
From Laverne Cox to Sir Ian McKellen, the grand marshals are an inspirational bunch standing at the forefront of LGBT equality. This year is no exception for NYC Pride: Jazz Jennings co-founded Transkids Purple Rainbow Foundation, Subhi Nahas founded the first LGBT magazine in Syria and Cecilia Chung has been advocating for international AIDS awareness for decades.
Nothing warms our hearts faster than seeing all the businesses who support the LGBT community. Last year, the tech giants showed up to San Francisco pride with inspiring banners, elaborate floats, and dance platforms. AirBnb, Facebook, Apple, Uber, Netflix and NASA Ames all made an appearance. Even Google’s self-driving car showed up!
Celebrity support makes us feel fuzzy inside. Last year, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Caitlyn Jenner and members from the cast of Orange is the New Black made headlines for their show of solidarity.
We love shirtless dancers, drag queens and performers of all kinds winding around the city on shimmering floats. It’s hard not to get into the spirit when rainbows are everywhere, from painted crosswalks to illuminated government buildings. Fun fact: The pride flag originally contained two additional colors, hot pink and turquoise.
Pride is a great excuse to don the most colorful outfit you can find. Tutu skirts, elaborate wigs, body paint, rainbow boas and several tons of glitter – nothing is off limits. It’s a sensory overload, and we love it.
You know that where there’s music, there will be dancing. The Dance on the Pier fundraiser and fireworks display attracts 15,000 people for eight straight hours of dancing – and that’s not even including the after parties scattered around NYC.
Things don’t die down after the parade. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Pride just wouldn’t be pride without the chance to party until dawn. From SF’s Castro to NYC’s Greenwich Village to Chicago’s Boystown, millions with gather to keep the spirit of the parade going well after sundown.
When it comes right down to it, we adore everything about pride – the festivities, the collective self-acceptance and the message of solidarity for the work still left to do. Most important of all, there’s love. Lots and lots of love.