Why is June LGBTQIA Pride Month?
Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
Pride Month — now known for celebrations including parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, concerts, and festivals — began as a political demonstration in response to the violence that erupted after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in New York’s Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969.
At this time New York still enforced strict anti-homosexuality laws and raids of known gay establishments were common, but the officers’ rough treatment of the patrons at the Stonewall Inn angered the community and triggered the “Stonewall Riots” — six days of protests and violent clashes with police in Greenwich Village.
The Stonewall Riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States and inspired a wave of activism within LGBTQIA communities throughout the country.
Just one year after the riots, a group came together to commemorate the events with political demonstration on the last Sunday in June, calling it “Gay Pride Day” and coining the term “gay pride” in the process. In major cities across the nation, the day soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, Pride Month is celebrated around the world and events attract millions of participants. People gather to celebrate progress made in the acceptance and normalization of queer identities, to call attention to ongoing political injustices, and to memorialize those in the LGBTQIA community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.
Pride Month Programs
LOUD Acting Workshop for Teens
Nora Navra Library on Saturday, June 8 from 1pm - 2:30pm
Learn to act out your own stories. Presented by teens from LOUD: New Orleans Queer Youth Theater, this workshop for teens will focus on how to express emotion through storytelling and acting. Sponsored by the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.
Queer Book Club
Main Library on Sunday, June 9 from 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Connect with other LGBTQ+ folks over tea and radical books. For the monthly selection's title, information, or updates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Request e-books or print copies at your favorite Library location or online.
LGBT+ History of New Orleans
Alvar Library on Wednesday, June 19 from 6pm - 8pm
Learn about the rich history of the LGBT+ community in New Orleans. In partnership with the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana.
Tinderbox: An Evening with Robert W. Fieseler and Skylar Fein
Main Library on Wednesday, June 26 from 6pm - 7:30pm
This discussion will commemorate the 46th anniversary of the Upstairs Lounge Fire and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Following the paperback release Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, author Robert W. Fieseler and New Orleans artist and Up Stairs Lounge historian Skylar Fein will discuss the commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the Upstairs Lounge Fire and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Tinderbox was recently named the 2019 recipient of the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime - making it the first work of queer history ever to win in this prestigious category. Copies will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Octavia Books.
Queer/Trans Youth Meet-Up
Mid-City Library on Saturday, June 29 from 2pm - 4pm
It can be hard to find people to connect with. This meet-up is just a space to hang out with people who might know a little about how you feel. We'll have snacks and crafts too. For ages 18 & under.
Pride Month Activity
Download our Pride Month History Crossword Puzzle here. Turn in your crossword puzzle to any Library location for a prize.
LGBTQIA Reading & Resources
• Barker, Meg John. Queer: A Graphic History. 2016.
• Bronski, Michael & Chevat, Richie. A Queer History of the United States for Young People. 2019.
• Johnson, Maureen, ed. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation. 2018.
• Madrone, Kelly Huegel. LGBTQ: The Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens. 2018.
• Poehlmann, Tristan. The Stonewall Riots: The Fight for LGBT Rights. 2017.
• Prager, Sarah, ed. Queer There and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World. 2017.
• Smith, Rachelle Lee. Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus. 2014.
YA Graphic Nonfiction
• Bongiovanni, Archie & Jimerson, Tristan. A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns. 2018.
• Giuliani, Mady. A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities. 2019.
Middle Grade Nonfiction
• Pitman, Gayle. The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets. 2019.
• Pohlen, Jerome. Gay and Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 activities. 2015.
• Stevenson, Robin. Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community. 2016.
• Allen, Samantha. Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. 2019.
• Boykin, Keith, ed. For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home. 2012.
• Bronski, Michael. A Queer History of the United States. 2011.
• Carruthers, Charlene. Unapologetic: a Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. 2018.
• Cenziper, D. Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality. 2016.
• Fieseler, Robert W. Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation 2018.
• New York Public Library, ed. The Stonewall Reader. 2019.
Documentaries - available to Library cardholders through Kanopy, our free digital streaming service
• Gay Youth
• My Transgender Life
• Stonewall Uprising
• BreakOUT! - BreakOUT! envisions a New Orleans where transgender, gender non-conforming, and queer youth of color can live without fear of harassment and discrimination.
• LOUD: New Orleans Queer Youth Theater - LOUD is a group of outspoken, unapologetic queer and trans* youth, and their allies who come together in solidarity to build community and tell their stories.
• LGBT Community Center of New Orleans Youth Hang Out - 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of every month.
• The Trevor Project - A crisis intervention and suicide prevention service for LGBTQIA youth under 25. Call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386 anytime, day or night, for immediate help.
• Genders and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Network - Start a GSA at your middle or high school with the help of the GSA Network.
• It Gets Better Project - Inspirational videos made by people from all walks of life in the LGBTQIA community to support LGBTQIA youth.
• Trans Students Rights - Resources for allying with trans youth from GLSEN.