The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising showed how far we've come
This year marked a special kind of Pride.
Not just because it was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which inspired the first Pride in 1970, but also because the month of June saw a number of events which propelled the fight for LGBT+ equality forward.
From politics to social media and pop culture, here are some of the most iconic moments of this year's Pride Month.
Iceland allows people to identify as a third gender
The notoriously progressive Nordic country voted in parliament to allow people to change their legal gender at the national registry using the new option of X.
This will make it much easier for trans and non-binary people to be recognised as the gender with which they identify.
Owl Fisher, a trans activist who helped write the legislation told PinkNews: “Iceland has just passed one of the most progressive laws on trans and intersex rights without any public conflict.”
North Macedonia holds its first ever Pride parade
The capital Skopje hosted the event on 29 June, which was attended by hundreds of people, including activists, state officials and diplomats.
It was an important step for the country, where LGBT+ people still face discrimination education, work, health and welfare protection.
It was one of the last remaining Balcan countries to not host a Pride parade, and it’s thought that part of the reason for the change is North Macedonia’s desire to join the EU, which would require the country to improve its human and minority rights.
Botswana finally decriminalises homosexuality
On Tuesday 11 June, the southern African nation’s High Court rejected sections of the penal code that criminalised same-sex relations.
The landmark ruling followed similar cases of decriminalisation in India and Angola, but more than two dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have laws criminalising gay sex.
Taylor Swift releases Pride-themed single
The singer’s latest song “You Need To Calm Down” was hailed as an LGBT+ anthem due to its message of inclusivity and condemnation of homophobia.
The video was released on 17 June and featured a number of prominent LGBT+ celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, Laverne Cox, Ryan Reynolds, the cast of Queer Eye.
The response was mixed as some have argued the song allows her to profit from performative allyship despite not being openly LGBT+ herself, but the call-to-action at the end of the video led to a surge of donations to LGBT+ charity GLAAD, and sparked an important conversation on the importance of LGBT+ representation in pop culture.
Instagram introduces more inclusive gender options
While before Instagram users could only select "male", "female" or "not specified", now they can select "male", "female", "prefer not to say" or enter the gender with which they identify in a custom entry field.
The app announced the change on 11 June and stated it had done so specifically with transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in mind.
According to HootSuite, 1 billion people use Instagram every month.
Prince William becomes first member of the royal family to visit a dedicated LGBT+ organisation
The Duke of Cambridge spoke to a group of young people at the London headquarters of the Albert Kennedy Trust, an LGBT+ charity dedicated to helping young people made homeless because of their sexual orientation on 26 June.
When asked how he would react to his children potentially being LGBT+, the duke replied: "I think you really don't start thinking about that until you are a parent and I think – obviously, absolutely fine by me."
Dallas approves rainbow crossings in LGBT+ neighbourhood
The Texan city, which voted for Trump in the 2016 election, this month agreed to install Pride-themed rainbow crossings in its historically LGBT+ neighbourhood, Oak Lawn.
Chris Luna, who was elected as one of the city council’s first openly gay members, told the Dallas Morning News that the crosswalks are “a sign of community and belonging that people will relate to,” and that it “designates this as a safe space”.
New York announces plans to build the country’s first statue honouring trans rights
The city will build a statue of Martha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, both of whom identified as drag queens and used female pronouns, and were key figures in the Stonewall uprising, as well as trans activists.
The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot was marked with a huge Pride rally
The event, which took place outside the Stonewall Inn in New York, featured speeches from Corey Johnson, the first openly gay man and the first openly HIV positive man to lead the New York City Council, and Lady Gaga, who said she would “take a bullet” for the LGBT+ community.
Other speakers included body positivity activist Harnaam Kaur, owner of Pulse nightclub Barbara Poma, and senator and presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand.
There was a touching moment where a police officer helped adjust the flag and joined in the celebrations, in poignant contrast to the police raid that began the uprising half a century ago. Mayor Bill de Blasio, hot off the heels of his Democratic debate, also spoke at the rally, and declared 28 June “Stonewall Day”.
The event was attended by thousands, and was led with a spirit of inclusivity, intersectionality and togetherness.