The origins of Pride Month are traced back to June 27, 1969, in New York City, where police raided a popular gay bar called the Stonewall Inn.
During this time in history, homosexual acts were illegal, and bars and pubs could be shut down for having gay employees or serving gay patrons. Police raids were common, however on this night, instead of scattering, the gay community fought back, and spontaneous demonstrations took place after several staff members and patrons of the bar were arrested and loaded into police cars. After one patron was hurt, the crowd began throwing bottles and slashing tires of the police cars that were parked on the street.
At 4am, after prisoners were being transported to the police station, a group of police officers were forced to retreat inside Stonewall Inn, where they barricaded themselves and the bar was set on fire. The fire was extinguished and thankfully, no one was seriously injured or killed.
Over the next week, an uprising of other protests started and although there had been protests by the gay community in the past, the incident at Stonewall Inn sparked a civil rights movement. On the first anniversary of the incident at Stonewall, gay activists in New York organized the “Christopher Street Liberation March”, starting the cities first gay pride march. Soon after, several other cities across the United States organized gay pride celebrations that same year – this then followed across other countries, including Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Today, Pride Month is celebrated in the month of June to commemerate the riots at Stonewall in June 1969.