On June 28, 1969, the people of New York City turned a page in history as they began rioting against police outside of the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Manhattan. Later called the Stonewall Riot, this protest became the catalyst of the Gay Liberation Movement that later swept the nation. People began to stand up against the discrimination and violence the LGBTQIA community wrongfully endured, and unfortunately still encounter.
Today, as people continue to join together to support the civil rights of the LGBTQIA community, June has become the official month that not only commemorates the legacy of the Stonewall Riot, but also honors sexual diversity and gender variance throughout our country.
For Michigan State University senior Daniel Eggerding, honoring the LGBTQIA community and its achievements is something very important to him. He plans on celebrating National Pride Month with the Lansing community this June.
“Pride gives LGBTQ people the opportunity to express themselves in a positive light, against the stigmas with being LGBTQ,” Eggerding said, “Pride allows individuals to connect with others who are LGBTQIA, giving them a sense of community and self-acceptance. It’s an opportunity to celebrate sexual and gender diversity among all different types of people.”
As Eggerding looks forward to his third year of attending pride events, he appreciates being able to celebrate the love and acceptance flourishing among the
“Last year I was able to visit pride with my partner,” Eggerding said. “It was very empowering and liberating to be able to hold his hand in public and not feel afraid of being judged. To me, that was something I’ll never forget.”
Like Eggerding, senior Samuel Granger has also attended pride events and advocates for the acceptance of the LGBTQIA community. Although Granger does not identify as part of the LGBTQIA community, he believes that National Pride Month is important to celebrate because he feels that it normalizes LGBTQ identities.
“Suicide rates are high among the LGBTQ community, particularly teenagers,” Granger said. [This is] because of the societal stigma that remains around queer identities. Pride is a way to counter that stigma, to communicate to the world and to queer adolescents grappling with their identities that it’s okay to be queer.”
National Pride Month is more than marching through the streets and donning colorful clothing. For Eggerding and Granger, these events truly empower those that are a part of and support the LGBTQIA community.
“Seeing everyone being so openly and unashamedly themselves is very encouraging,” Granger said.
So, who’s ready to celebrate? Join Eggerding, Granger and many more LGBTQIA patrons this June to honor National Pride Month while starting off with The White Party in Old Town Lansing on June 16. Hosted by Michigan Pride, the party will start at 7 p.m. and will require one wristband for all-access to the festivities that night. On the next day, June 17, march down the streets of Lansing toward our State Capitol, followed by a Rally for Equality and Social Justice at the Capitol steps. Finally, celebrate from noon to 11 p.m. in Old Town Lansing for the Michigan Pride Festival. Featured entertainment will include Star Farm and much more. Enjoy!
For more information on the events, visit Michigan Pride on Facebook and follow them @MichiganPride.