When Is Pride Month?

Mark your calendars! Here's when the annual celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride happens each year—and the story of why it's celebrated then.

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the community and the achievements of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. So if you're one of the estimated 7.2 percent of Americans who identify as LGBTQ+—or someone who loves and supports them—you're probably already aware that June is Pride Month, with many communities celebrating with parades and events.

But why was June selected as Pride Month—and what should you do to celebrate? Here's everything you need to know to make this Pride Month the best one yet.

Why Is Pride Month Celebrated in June?

There's actually a very important reason why June was selected as Gay Pride Month (later just Pride Month to be inclusive to other groups). It commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. On June 28, 1969, patrons of a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, fought back against a police raid, which led to days of rioting—and the strengthening of the movement for LGBTQ+ rights, according to Lambda Legal.

The first Pride Month was celebrated in 1970, with parades on June 28 in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, according to the Library of Congress. Since then, more cities and communities have organized Pride parades, festivals, concerts, and other events to celebrate their community. June was officially recognized as Pride Month by President Bill Clinton in June 1999.

There's another big reason that the American LGBTQ+ community celebrates June as a special month. The landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage, Obergefell v. Hodges, was handed down on June 26, 2015.

Note: While many countries follow the U.S. and celebrate Pride in June, some countries commemorate it in February, August, and September.

How Is LGBTQ+ Pride Month Celebrated?

NYC LGBTQ+ Pride Parade June 2022

Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

Parades were the initial way for people to celebrate Pride Month, but as the celebrations of LGBTQ+ pride have grown, more types of events have been planned, including concerts, street parties or festivals, memorials for people lost to anti-LGBTQ violence or to HIV/AIDS, and other events.

Pride Month is a great time to watch LGBTQIA+ movies and shows, and show your support by displaying rainbow flags and attending events. And many brands roll out special Pride-related products or campaigns to commemorate the month.

The biggest Pride event in the U.S. is New York City's Pride March, which regularly draws over 2 million people to the celebration.

Why Is the Rainbow Associated With Gay Pride/LGBTQ Pride?

Rainbow Flag
Portra Images/Getty Images

Artist Gilbert Baker created the first rainbow Pride flag in 1978, as a symbol of the LGBTQ community. The first pride flags featured eight colors, including hot pink and turquoise. But it was later amended to a simple six-color rainbow—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple—to make it easier to mass produce the flags, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The colors chosen were given different meanings, such as green for nature, violet for spirit, red for life, and orange for healing.

Later versions of the pride flag have added additional stripes in a triangular pattern. The more inclusive progressive pride flag features a triangle with pink, pale blue, black, brown, and white stripes to feature communities of color, the trans community, and those lost to AIDS.

When Is Pride Day?

The official "Pride Day" is celebrated on June 28, when the Stonewall riots began. But many communities have Pride parades and events all month long to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

When Is LGBTQ+ History Month?

While Pride Month is in June, there's a second month dedicated to learning about the history and accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community: October. It's a month to learn about the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ figures past and present.

It was created in 1994, and in 1995, the General Assembly of the National Education Association added LGBT History month to its calendars for educators. October also features National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), and the commemoration of the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights (Oct. 14, 1979).

If you want to learn more about prominent LGBTQ people, the LGBT History Month website features videos and biographies about different historical (and present-day) icons each year, so you can check out one for each day of LGBTQ+ History Month.

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  1. Encyclopedia Britannica. How Did the Rainbow Flag Become a Symbol of LGBTQ Pride? Accessed May 2, 2023.

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