I am looking for information about Gay Pride Month (June). From the historical background of the event/holiday, where are the celebrations today in the US and to a lesser extent abroad. Ideally I need to find resources that speak to what Gay Pride means to people, what it represents.
Hello! Thanks for your question regarding information about Gay Pride Month (June), the historical background of the event, the celebration, as well as what Gay Pride means to people.
In short, the Christopher Street Liberation day march on June 28, 1970, was considered the first Gay Pride day parade to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riot. The event is celebrated annually in the month of June across the main cities in the U.S and globally. To the LGBTQ community, Gay Pride means social acceptance, resilience, courage and visibility. The sponsorship of the Gay Pride parade by brands and corporations has been on the rise. In 2015, TARGET brand took the lead in #TAKE PRIDE CAMPAIGN in support of the pride month in New York. Please find below a deeper dive into the research.
I first focused on finding out information about the Gay Pride celebration. I looked at government database, articles and news reports to find historical facts about the LGBTQ movement. After taking note of the timeline of events, I proceeded to find out top cities where Gay Pride Month takes place across the globe. I looked at the demography of LGBTQ, their values and identity. I rounded up my findings by researching on brands that have supported the LGBTQ Gay Pride event.
EVOLUTION OF THE LGBTQ CIVIL RIGHT MOVEMENT
“LGBTQQ” stands for (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer).
According to an article by CNN, the Society for Human Rights was the first documented Gay rights movement. It was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago in 1924. Afterwards, in 1953, the then President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order barring homosexuals from federal employment. The Gay community was considered a security threat. Therefore, Police Officers and Security officials carried out raids and arrest of Homosexuals.
One of such was the Police raid at the Stonewall Inn at Christopher Street, in New York City in 1969, which resulted in the Stonewall riot. The riot sparked the beginning of the LGBT civil rights movement. A news article also reported that Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender right activist was alleged as the one “who started it”.
In June 28, 1970, people marched into the New York Central Park in remembrance of the Christopher Street Liberation day, which marked the celebration of the anniversary of the Stonewall riot.
The celebration was the beginning of Gay Pride Parade. The event is marked annually in the month of June and celebrated across major cities in the United States and it has also extended to some major cities in the World.
San Francisco is known as the “Mother of all Pride”. Over 1.5 million individuals participated in an entire weekend to celebrate the Gay Pride day in June 2016.
The main cities in the United States that celebrate Gay Pride day includes New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, Chicago, Illinois, Massachusetts and Boston.
Toronto Pride had over 1.2 million people celebrating. There is also the Amsterdam Gay Pride, Sao Paulo Pride, Tel Aviv Pride week, Sydney Pride, Madrid Pride e.t.c.
In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination lawsuit.
After series of the battle for Civil Rights freedom by the LGBTQ at the law courts, the United States Supreme Court decriminalised same-sex sexual conduct in June 2003.
On 9th November 9, 2016, Kate Brown became the highest – ranking LGBT person elected as governor of Oregon.
A news article report reveals a recent survey conducted by Gallup poll. About 10 million Americans representing 4.6% of the population identified themselves as LGBT. An increase by 1.75 million people since 2012.
24% of the total LGBT population in the U.S are adults and over 50 years. The figure is expected to double by 2030.
Over half of the total LGBT population are Millennials, representing about (58%) 5.8 million people.
The report further stated that women are more likely to identify as LGBT than men.
LGBTQ COMMUNITY AND WHAT GAY PRIDE STANDS FOR
According to a 2013 survey (the most recent) conducted by the Pew research centre on the importance of Pride event on the LGBT community, over 60% of gay men and lesbians have attended a pride event while 33% of bisexuals have done same.
The report further stated that, within the LGBT community, 30% of gay men, lesbians and bisexual women feel the Gay Pride event helps to advance social acceptance.
Outspokane, an LGBT community tells what the Gay Pride celebration means to them. The following are some direct quotes attributed to them.
“To celebrate equality, sense of community and visibility”.
“Pride means to me putting everything you believe in out where others can see it and chose whether they want to support your choice or not”.
“Pride is celebrating me! I am who I am, and I have a right to love who I want to love!”
“To celebrate my life and to pass down our history to the youngsters who will pass down our lives to the next generation, keeping our history alive and living”.
Lance Bass, an American pop singer and LGBTQ in an interview with Sheknows express her views this way. "It's all about visibility for our community," She further continued that “When you see a group of people just having a good time, there's nothing scary about it. The more visible everyone is, the more it will turn people's minds. They'll say, 'Oh, I'm not so scared of it anymore.'"
The Baltimore's LGBT community also shared their stories on what Pride means to them. It means “Resiliency”, “Courage”, “Acceptance”, “Liberation”, “Empowerment”, Shameless and “Gratitude”.
Chelsea Shamy, a young LGBT Intern at GLAAD, puts it this way “Pride isn't just a month to me; it's a state of mind. It's a constant in my life. Pride is about living every day out with integrity and honesty so I can make a difference for others”.
You can find more statement here from LGBT in the U.K on what Gay Pride means for their community. I have also attached interesting quotes from top celebrities who support LGBT that may be of interest to you.
BRAND SPONSORSHIP OF LGBTQ EVENTS
An article published by Bloomberg reports that the combined purchasing power of U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults increased about 3.7% to $917 billion in 2015, almost at par with the disposable income of the U.S minority group.
Brands are targeting the growing demography of LGBT. Large corporations, banks, fast food chains, brands of different variety are positioning themselves to get the share of the LGBT market.
American Express has a long-term relationship with the LGBTQ community. They leveraged on the America Express Shop Small Platform with a rainbow American Express window sticker to identify with the LGBT community. The strategy was to earn the loyalty of small business owners and individuals who are LGBT.
TARGET took the lead with its #TakePrideCampaign in support of the Gay Pride month in New York. The New York Gay Pride March in 2016 had the Silver Diet Coke rolls out its advert blaring out Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman”. Google’s Android phone operating systems, has a rainbow-coloured phone screen, above the Stonewall Inn: “Be together, not the same”.
The Pride organisation has benefited from building lasting relationships with brands. More brands sponsored the 2016 New York Gay Pride event. The number which has doubled since 2012. The brands include Walmart, Delta, AXA, Netflix, Bud Light, Unilever, BNP Paribas, Nissan and Disney.
Chicago-based market research consultancy recently completed a qualitative research study with 20 LGBT consumers feelings towards LGTB adverts. They found some interesting facts about the purchase habits. LGTB consumers would tend to go for brands whose adverts have genuine emotional connections to the LGBT community. The use of LGBT colours, image and symbols was found to be appealing to the LGBT consumers. The research also reveals that adverts uniquely targeted towards the LGBT community are much more efficient than the general market adverts.
To wrap it up, Christopher Street Liberation day march on June 28, 1970, was considered the first Gay Pride day parade to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall riot. The event is celebrated annually in the month of June across the main cities in the U.S and globally.
The LGBTQ community agrees that social acceptance, visibility, courage and resilience are part of what the Gay Pride day means to them. And also, brand sponsorship of LGBTQ celebration has doubled since 2012.
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