June is Pride Month, when the world’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ+) communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves. The “plus” represents other gender identities and sexual orientations that are not specifically covered by the other five initials.

The month was chosen to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement.

On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village, starting a riot among bar patrons and neighbourhood residents with the police. The riot involved hundreds of people and led to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement.

A year later, on June 28, 1970, thousands of people marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park in what was then called “Christopher Street Liberation Day” – marking what is now recognized as the first gay pride parade. Since then, LGBTQ+ people across the world have continued to gather in June to march with pride and demonstrate for equal rights.

The first Pride celebration held in Toronto was just three years after the Stonewall riots, an event that sparked the gay liberation movement in Canada. Within a few years, thousands were attending the annual Gay Pride parade, and by 2018 an estimated 1.6 million people attended Pride weekend and more than 1 million attended Pride month events.

Local 793 is a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and is committed to the fight against discrimination and hate in the workplace and in our communities.

“IUOE Local 793 unequivocally respects the rights of LGBTQ+ communities and believes that society needs to stamp out hate and discrimination in all its ugly forms,” Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher said.