June is the month known all over the world as Pride Month. Though the movement started in the United States, it has spread all over the world where people celebrate the month for being gay, lesbian, transgender, and everything in between.
But it hasn’t and is still isn’t easy for LGBT+ people to roam around freely and for being proud of who they are and what they prefer.
It all started back in June of 1969 when a gay club Stonewall Inn was raided by the police which was a normal thing to do back in those days.
They tried arresting the people present there, who was doing nothing illegal. But because they were gays and lesbians, they were criminals.
This led to a riot that lasted for days and got national attention. And thus began a fight for the survival of the LGBT+ community.
Though being LGBT+ is as natural as being a man or a woman, they’re still considered a disgrace to society. And for the very reason, Pride Month is important.
It is important to let everyone know that there is nothing wrong with loving people of the same sex and celebrating sexual freedom.
Throughout history, though being gay was illegal, there were some prominent figures that stood up for their beliefs and fight for gay rights and LGBT+ freedom.
Here are 12 gay rights movement pioneers that changed the history.
1 James Baldwin (1924 - 1987)
James Arthur “Jimmy” Baldwin was an American social critic, poet, and a novelist. He was the author of the novel “Giovanni’s Room,” a well-known gay-romance novel.
He was an outspoken leader that fought for not only the African-American community but also for gay and bisexual men and their freedom. He wrote several books that had gay and bisexual characters. He was always open about his sexuality and was one of the only two gay men who was a leading voice of the civil rights movement.
2 Edith Windsor (1929 - 2017)
Edith Windsor was a prominent figure for the LGBT+ community in the United States. She was an LGBT rights activist as well as a technology manager at IBM.
Windsor fought for her rights against the US government and won the case that involved the federal government forcing her to pay $353,053 in estate taxes just because she being a woman was married to another woman.
She volunteered in different LGBT+ organizations who were working to protect gay rights. She also became a prominent LGBT+ figure who fought for the same-sex marriage after the United States v. Windsor case.
3 Barack Obama (1961)
The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama is a distinguished figure who’s been supporting the LGBT+ movement.
He was the first sitting president who supported the LGBT freedom and same-sex marriage openly and also sped up the process of federally recognizing same-sex marriage.
4 Harvey Milk (1930 - 1978)
Harvey Milk was an American politician and an LGBT+ rights activist. He was the first openly gay elected official in the United States.
Though his political career was short-lived, he became a well-known figure in the LGBT+ community who was known for leading several civil rights movement throughout his life.
He is considered a martyr in the gay community for all his contributions.