Having pride in who we are and who we love is important all year round, but June allows the LGBTQ+ community to have centerstage after so many years of living in the shadows. It gives us the opportunity to remind the world that “love is love” and celebrate all that we have fought for to be where we are today.
The History of Pride Month
New York City’s Stonewall Riots were a turning point in the gay rights movement. After the police raided a gay bar at the Stonewall Inn on June 28th, 1969, protests erupted in the streets for six days. The Stonewall Inn became a refuge for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual people — a place where they were welcome and free to express themselves.
The rainbow Pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 to symbolize sexuality (pink), life (red), healing (orange), sun (yellow), nature (green), art (turquoise), harmony (indigo), and soul (violet). Since then, pink and blue have been added for transgender, as well as brown for black and Latinx people.
President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999 and 2000. President Barack Obama did the same from 2009 to 2016, and President Joe Biden affirmed the celebration in 2021 and 2022.
How To Talk To Your Kids About Pride Month
A good introduction to Pride Month is to explain that Pride is about loving yourself for exactly who you are, even if you seem different from the people around you. Pride is a feeling we have inside when we know who we are, unapologetically, and aren’t afraid to show the world.
Even if you’re not in an LGBTQ+ household, straight parents can raise their kids to be advocates and allies of the community by encouraging them to be open-minded and recognize that we may be different, but we are all united by love. Children are fortunate to have parents that love them — and all children deserve a home full of love, no matter what their family looks like. Teach your children that words can hurt, but kindness and acceptance is the best gift they can choose to give others around them.
East End Pride Month Events
The month is half over, but it’s not too late to catch many great Pride events on the East End:
- Pride Month Rainbow Lantern Walk – June 17th
Location: Sunken Meadow State Park (25A & Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park)
Time: 8-9:30 pm
Cost: $4, advance registration required
- Drag Queen Story Hour, Games, and Crafts with Bella Noche – June 18
Location: Children’s Museum of the East End (376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke)
Time: 12-2 pm
Cost: Included with $19 admission
- BTW Fundraiser Benefiting Pride for Youth with DJ JoJo Ciara – June 18
Location: BTW Bar & Grill (3297R Long Beach Road, Oceanside)
Time: 7:30 pm
- Pride Shabbat Morning Service with Guest Fred Becker – June 25
Location: Jewish Center of the Hamptons (44 Woods Lane, East Hampton)
Time: 10 am
- Pride Month Color Connection Family Program – June 25
Location: Connetquot River State Park Preserve (Sunrise Highway, Bohemia)
Time: 10:30 am – 12 pm
Cost: $4, advance registration required
Pride parades are a fun, entertaining, and joyful introduction to the celebration of self and others.
This year, the Hamptons celebrated its first Pride Parade on June 4th, beginning at 11 am near Pond View Lane and Guild Hall, marching east on Main Street to Herrick Park via Newton Lane, Railroad Avenue, and Lumber Lane, with music by DJ Karin Ward in the park until 3 pm.
While you may have missed that one in our backyard, it’s not too late to drive into the City for the 28th Annual NYC Pride March on June 26th; the march starts at noon between 25th Street and 5th Avenue. Following the parade, PrideFest/FamilyFest street fair will be taking place at Astor Plaza (East 8th Street and 4th Avenue).
In addition to participating in local events, there are many ways to celebrate at home: reading themed books, donating to charities like the Trevor Project, supporting LGBTQ+ owned businesses, or hosting a party with friends and family.
Want to get into the spirit? Stop by the Shine Studio to make a few rainbow-themed crafts. Our warm and welcoming space is always accepting of drop-ins. Contact us to learn more.