On Monday 27th June, we celebrated Pride Month and spent the day talking about how important it is to be yourself, to be proud of who you are and also be respectful to other people. The day involved lots of discussion about equality for all.
The Meadow and Woodland classes painted rainbows, coloured paper bracelets and made special glasses to wear to see everyone as unique individuals.
The Ocean and Mountains classes wrote their thoughts about individuality on rainbows and the older children made a pledge to speak out against bullying and the use of homophobic language. They also wove rainbow bracelets as a sign of their commitment to equal rights for all.
At the end of the day, the whole school came together for a Pride assembly. Work was celebrated and the youngest children signed and sang the rainbow song. The story of Harvey Milk, who designed the rainbow flag, was shared and everyone joined together to be proud of one another.
What is the history of Pride Month?
Pride Month celebrates lesbian, gay, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) pride, as well as protests for LGBTQ+ people to have equal rights and freedoms, such as same-sex marriage.
In the UK today, LGBTQ+ people’s equal rights are protected by law. However, LGBTQ+ people haven’t always had legal equality. Being gay was once illegal in the UK and the United States, and LGBTQ+ people were regularly harassed and arrested.
In June 1969, people began to fight back. Riots broke out between the police and LGBTQ+ people in New York City around the Stonewall Inn. This was a bar where gay people went; it was often targeted by police. This rioting was the beginning of the move towards LGBTQ+ people achieving equal legal rights, known as ‘the gay rights movement’.
In June 1970, the first Pride march took place in Chicago, to commemorate the Stonewall riots. The idea quickly spread to many cities in North America, and then around the world. The UK’s first Pride march was held in London, in 1972.
Pride Month: the Rainbow Flag
The rainbow flag is an important symbol of LGBTQ+ pride and appears throughout Pride month, from the clothes that people wear to the floats they travel on.
The rainbow flag was first used at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, in 1978. The gay rights civil movement at that time didn’t have a symbol of representation. Gilbert Baker was asked to design one.
He chose the rainbow because “We are all the colours and all the genders and all the races. The rainbow is a magical part of nature.”
What is Pride Month?
Pride celebrations last for a month, from the beginning of June right up until the day of the parade, which means there’s always something for everyone. Pride Month usually involves various events such as film showings, arts etc.
In 2019, more than 26,000 people joined the Pride parade through central London and hundreds more lined the streets. Well-known companies took part in the parade, with colourful floats, banners and balloons, to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, addressed the community, saying, “As long as I’m Mayor of London, you will be welcomed, you will be celebrated and embraced. Love happens here.”
Pride is now a global celebration, taking place in over 60 countries worldwide. Every Pride is unique: from the biggest and most popular Pride in Europe, held in Madrid (attracting 1,500,000 people every year), to the world’s smallest Pride held in a remote village in Ireland (with a population of just 250).
Pride is about celebrating how far equal rights have come, but also about remembering that there’s still some distance to go to overcome prejudice. Pride marches are still banned in some places around the world, such as in Moscow, the capital city of Russia.
Timeline of Equal Rights
1967 – Being gay was legalised in the UK.
1988 – A law known as ‘Section 28’ was passed, making it illegal for people to “promote”, or talk positively, about being gay in schools. This law was repealed in 2003.
2000 – Gay and lesbian people were finally allowed to openly serve in the armed forces.
2004 – The Civil Partnership Act was passed, which gave same-sex couples in relationships, the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples.
2014 – The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill was passed, legalising same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
2021 – It is now a legal requirement that same-sex families are taught in relationship lessons in schools.