June is Pride Month, when the LGBTQ communities from around Baltimore, the entire country and the world celebrate the rights they have gained and the freedom they have to be themselves. The original organizers chose this month to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City. Though the police claimed the Stonewall Inn, which was a gay club, was operating with an improper liquor license, the raid was about nothing more than violently harassing and arresting LGBTQ people in one of the few places where they felt safe. Similar raids on gay-friendly businesses had been occurring for decades, but Stonewall was one of the first times when the patrons fought back. A diverse crowd of lesbians, gay men and transgender women, many of whom were people of color, clashed with the police, threw bottles and refused to be intimidated. The six-day period of protests and demonstrations is now known as the Stonewall Riots. A New York rally held the next year to commemorate the first anniversary of the riots started the now-regular tradition of Pride Month.
While last year most of the Pride Month events were cancelled our held virtually, this year there are many fun events, some in person and some virtual, scheduled throughout Maryland including block parties, fashion shows, festivals, movie nights and meet-ups. Check HERE for a list of events from across the state and HERE for Baltimore City Pride Events.