This June we’re celebrating the artistic and musical contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Here we’ll discuss the origins of Pride Month and look ahead at the work that still needs to be done for equality. Pride is a month of celebration, but it’s also important to reflect on where we’ve been and where we must go.
How Did Pride Month Start?
Pride Month’s origins stem from the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, where LGBTQ folks at Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village fought back after a violent police raid. These raids were common at the time, as there were many anti-gay laws in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The actions of Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, Sylvia Rivera, a latinx trans woman, and others involved in the uprising are considered to be a watershed moment for the LGBTQ rights movement. The week-long protests sparked more actions and marches throughout the country, bolstered by other social activist movements of the late ‘60s, such as the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, and second-wave feminism.
Marsha P. Johnson (left) and Sylvia Rivera (right) march in New York City in 1973. Photo via Netflix.
The State of LGBTQ Rights Around the World
Now 52 years later, there is still much to be done to advance the rights of LGBTQ people around the world. Fifty-four nations oppose LGBTQ rights, and in some, same-sex relationships are punishable by prison or even death. Even within the United States, LGBTQ rights such as the right to marry vary by state, and LGBTQ people are still discriminated against and subject to violence. In fact, 2021 is set to be the most violent on record for trans people in the US.
Still, there is much progress to celebrate. Over 20 years of surveys, Pew results show that nearly a dozen countries have seen a significant increase in people who think LGBTQ people should be accepted by society. Last year the Supreme Court expanded workplace protections for LGBTQ people, and the current administration has removed the previous military ban. It also recognized June as Pride Month, a major difference from the years prior when the former administration ignored the event.
Image via Christina House, Los Angeles Times, June 2020
Representation in Media and Music
LGBTQ representation in the media is at its most diverse point. Many people who have historically been silenced or ignored are now having their stories told and celebrated. Television shows like Pose feature and all-trans, mostly Black and Latinx cast while telling the story of the Ballroom scene in New York City, which continues to influence music and pop culture to this day. Authors and influencers like Alok Vaid-Menon and Jonathan Van Ness, and musicians like Sam Smith and Demi Lovato, are bringing conversations about what it means to be non-binary into the mainstream. Other LGBTQ artists like Janelle Monáe, King Princess, Troye Sivan, Kim Petras, Frank Ocean, and Kehlani have songs featuring LGBTQ themes playing on the radio. It’s certainly an incredible moment to feel proud.
Celebrate Pride Through Music
Yousician supports the LGBTQ community and invites you to celebrate Pride through music.
Every song this month will be from a celebrated LGBTQ artist. Check out the “New On Yousician” tab in the app or our Instagram every #NewMusicFriday for the latest releases.
In addition to our new songs, we’ve compiled a Collection of all your favorite LGBTQ artists like Miley Cyrus and Callum Scott, plus icons like Aretha Franklin and Gloria Gaynor. Check it out in the app!
Be sure to follow us to stay up-to-date on the latest Yousician news.
Events By You
Want to celebrate Pride in person? After last year’s historic cancellations of many Pride events due to COVID-19, this year is expected to be loud—and proud. You can find events by you here.
According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth. Below are some resources for those that need help, have questions, or just need someone to talk to.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. They have a 24/7 hotline, plus chat and text options for support. (866) 488-7386
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: (888) 843-4564
Trans Lifeline is a trans-led organization that connects trans people to the community, support, and resources they need to survive and thrive. (877) 565-8860
Sex, Gender, and Relationships Hotline (SGR Hotline) is a group of volunteers providing accurate, non-judgmental, confidential information about sexuality, gender, and relationships. (415) 989-7374