LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated nationwide every June. June is a time for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (and their allies) to join together and celebrate all of the progress that has been made over the years to support gay rights. It is also a chance to re-evaluate what else needs to be done to achieve equality for all.
Pride Month History
Pride month was established to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, a riot that broke out in Greenwich Village, NYC, after the Stonewall Inn gay bar was raided on June 28, 1969. Its patrons and employees were handled roughly and in a disrespectful manner by police during the raid. The community responded with violence and protests, and this helped accelerate the gay rights movement in our country.
The Pride Parade, one of the hallmarks of every Pride Month, originated on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Thousands of people marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park, chanting “Say it loud, gay is proud” along the way. It’s been an annual tradition for over 50 years and many different cities have their own parades, including Charleston.
Charleston Pride Parade
This year’s parade is happening on Saturday, June 3rd, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. in downtown Charleston. The parade starts at Ann Street and King Street, follows King Street to Broad Street, then to Colonial Lake.
My husband and I brought our kids last year and they had an awesome time. They said it was more fun than any Christmas parade they’d been to! They loved the bright colors, rainbow-themed floats, and energetic music. They took turns waving our progress pride flag along with the parade-goers.
I appreciated the sense of community and positivity radiating down King Street. Being around so many open-minded people really soothed my soul and put me in a great mood for the rest of the weekend. I’m looking forward to the same uplifting experience this coming weekend.
- Charleston Pride is a local non-profit devoted to promoting the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community through education, advocacy, and celebration. They have a great lineup of events for adults and families, including some special events throughout Kickoff Weekend: Pride Night at the Charleston Battery on June 2nd, the Pride Parade on June 3rd, and the Ladies of Trio Drag Brunch on June 4th.
- The third annual Park Circle Pride runs from June 6-11 and features an extensive calendar of events to support Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) and We Are Family. Click here for the official schedule which includes open mic nights, drag shows, happy hours, a church service, educational workshops, and even drag-aoke (drag karaoke)!
- The Charleston Queer Adult Prom is the 6th annual fundraiser for We Are Family and welcomes LGBTQ+ adults and straight allies. It’s happening on Saturday, June 10th from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. at the Gibbes Museum of Art. The theme is “The Sweetest Escape” with plenty of candy and Y2K vibes. Purchase your tickets here.
How Can You Involve Your Children in Pride Month?
This month offers a great opportunity to teach your children about the LGBTQ+ community and how to support one another. Here are some ideas to help your children see the value of inclusivity and the knowledge that Love is Love:
- Join us at the Pride Parade on June 3rd or another family-friendly event. Wear something with rainbows on it!
- Fly the progress pride flag for the month of June. Explain to your kids what the different colors represent.
- Read an LGBTQ+ book together. Here’s a list for kids and teens.
- Have an age-appropriate discussion with your child about families who may look different than yours.
- Reach out to We Are Family for inclusive and affirming support for your child who identifies as LGBTQ+. They offer peer-led support groups for kids and parents, mental health assistance, and fun events.