COMMEMORATIVE OBSERVANCES 

Each month, this page highlights commemorative observances for various cultural groups, races and identities - celebrating accomplishments, recognizing their contributions and acknowledging the struggles of these diverse groups. 

Learning about and celebrating commemorative observances is a great way to expand your understanding of diverse cultures. Understanding the needs of others and recognizing that those needs differ is a vital part of your path toward racial equity and social justice. But don’t just say it, live it. Actively help raise awareness for these groups, cultures or causes. Show acceptance, compassion, and exemplify leadership in the workplace at a practical level with the actions you take and how you treat people. Recognize and embrace our differences; show that you can relate to those differences and be authentic in your efforts and action.

June is LGBTQ+ PRide Month!

It’s time to celebrate the important milestones, cultural achievements, influence and history of the LBGTQ+ community. It's also time to draw awareness, and strengthen efforts to correct the ongoing prejudices, violence and social inequities these groups endure.

 

Be proactive! Keep scrolling to learn about the history of Pride Month, read about historical and current injustices, find new ways to pay tribute to the LGBTQ+ community, and explore other activities to expand your understanding toward equality and social inclusion.

Gay Pride

What is LGBTQ+?

The acronym LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning, which are terms used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In some cases the acronym LGBTQIAP+ is used with the additional letters standing for Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual and + meaning “not limited to.”

Click the button to view a comprehensive definition of each term listed above.

A brief history & Purpose of the Observance of Pride Month

June 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of LGBTQ+ Pride traditions. Pride traditions have been celebrated since 1970 and began as a way to honor the Manhattan Stonewall Uprising of 1969, a pivotal event for the Gay Liberation Movement. In the United States, the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the “day” soon grew across the nation to a month-long series of celebrations and events.

 

According to the Library of Congress, it wasn't until June 11, 1999, that President Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7203 (PDF) recognizing Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. He acknowledged the mistreatment of the gay and lesbian community and proclaimed that, "the events of the Stonewall Uprising marked the birth of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement..." Ten years later on June 1, 2009, Proclamation No. 8387 (PDF) was issued by President Obama for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. In this proclamation the president paid tribute to the work of the LGBTQ+ community that promoted equal rights to all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. President Obama asked the people of the United States to "turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists."

Today, Pride Month is celebrated with events including parades, art exhibits, workshops, symposiums and concerts that attract millions of participants worldwide. Memorials for members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or AIDS are also held during Pride Month. The purpose of Pride Month is to affirm all that the community has accomplished in their work toward equality, to recognize the historic impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had in the fight for social inclusion and basic civil rights, and (in parallel to the Black Lives Matter movement) to further pressurize the on-going battle against systemic discrimination, including police brutality.

IN strength & solidarity, an international gay rights movement was born at The Stonewall Uprising

The Stonewall Uprising was a five day confrontation between police and gay rights activists, considered to be the catalyst of a new generation of political activism and the birth the international gay rights movement.

 

In 1969 the encouragement of homosexuality was an illegal act in virtually all major cities across the United States. Regardless of legality, gay bars offered refuge where homosexual individuals could feel relatively safe from public harassment. However, these establishments were under threat of law enforcement at any given moment.  

 

On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village was subject to one such police raid for reportedly selling alcohol without a license. Law enforcement entered the bar in the early hours of the morning and arrested the employees and brutalized patrons, even arresting some for “not wearing at least three articles of gender-appropriate clothing.”

 

This was the third raid in that area in a short period. The prior raids ended with patrons passively retreating in fear but this time the people did not retreat. The tumultuous crowd of 400-strong began to throw objects and pushed back officers into the bar. Police reinforcement arrived in time to extinguish a fire that the crowd had set on the bar and disperse the crowd however, the protests continued in waves over the next five days.

 

After the uprising, Britannica states, “Acceptance and respect from the establishment were no longer being humbly requested but angrily and righteously demanded.” This new resistance helped to educate the masses and began to work toward ending discriminatory practices in government policies. The event and new-found strength and solidarity birthed a plethora of new gay rights organizations.

 

Click to read the full article at Britannica.com

Gay & Proud
Footage of the first Pride Movement in 1970
Hate Crimes
Violent Killings of Transgender & Gender-Nonconforming People in 2020 The Deadliest Year on Record

According to an article released by the Human Rights Campaign, "2020 has seen at least 37 transgender and gender-nonconforming people violently killed, more than any other year since HRC began tracking this data in 2013. HRC has now tracked more than 200 deaths since 2013."

Read the full article ⤴

Laws & Policy
Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage: A Timeline per State

Georgetown University has put together a timeline of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States. From 1970, when a same-sex couple was denied a marriage license and took their case to the Supreme Court, to 2015 when same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states.

Read the full article ⤴

Executive Order 13087 - expanding equal opportunity employment in the Federal government by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation

In 1998, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13087 (PDF), an amendment to Executive Order 11478, requiring the federal government to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

On June 11 the following year, President Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7203 (PDF) for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.

Read the full article ⤴

The U.S. Will Protect Gay & Transgender People Against Discrimination in Health care

The Biden administration announced in early May 2021, that gay and transgender people will be protected from discrimination in health care. The announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services concerns one of the most notable parts of the Affordable Care Act - the provision in Section 1557 that prevents health care providers and insurance companies from discriminating on the basis "race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities." "Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period."

Read the full article ⤴

Inclusivity in the Workplace
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Workplace Issues: Quick Take

Covers a broad range of questions pertinent to gaining more insights about the LGBTQ+ community. Some of the topics addressed are: Population statistics Today, More Fortune 500 Companies Offer Benefits to Their LGBT Employees Many LGBT People Work in Industries Highly Impacted by COVID-19 Fear Prevents LGBT Employees From Bringing Their Full Selves to Work Inclusive Work Cultures Determine Whether LGBT Employees Leave or Stay Leadership.

Read the full article ⤴

How the LGBTQ+ community fares in the workplace

Corporate America has played an important role in the progress of LGBTQ+ rights over the past two decades, with many companies making public gestures of support. Hundreds of major consumer brands have become regular sponsors of annual Pride events. A record 206 major corporations signed an amicus brief in the spring advocating for the Supreme Court’s June 2020 decision protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from workplace discrimination. Companies are also increasingly making business-critical decisions about recruitment practices, employee-resource groups, and marketing that embrace LGBTQ+ rights. Despite these outwardly visible signs of progress, many challenges persist and today’s workplace is falling short of full inclusion.

Read the full article ⤴

A New LGBTQ+ Workforce Has Arrived - Inclusive Cultures Must Follow

BCG.com's  publication, "The Diversity and Inclusion Imperative," tell us that, "Today’s LGBTQ workforce has undergone a fundamental, generational shift, both in how it defines itself and what it expects of workplace inclusion. The LGBTQ workforce is far more racially diverse and more likely to include women, transgender employees, and people with more varied sexual orientations than in the past, particularly among younger generations."

Read the full article ⤴

Preparing for Parity - the lack of LGBTQ+Women in the workplace (PDF)

An organization’s LGBTQ+ network is not the proxy or arbiter for the entirety of the organization’s ‘out’ LGBTQ+ people. However, having this awareness does not explain or justify why the damaging visible gender imbalance exists, nor does it encourage the opportunity to debate, challenge and ultimately change what seems to be accepted as ‘the norm’ for the representation of gender in LGBTQ+ spaces.

Read the full article ⤴

Discrimination against queer women in the U.S. Workforce

Based on fictitious resumes, LGBTQ+ women received fewer invitations to interview than perceived heterosexual women when applying online to jobs in several states.

Read the full article ⤴

A brief history of the Observance of AAPIHM

According to the United States Census Bureau, a joint congressional resolution was established in In 1978 that declared first 10 days of May as Asian American & Pacific Islander American Heritage Week. These dates coincide with two important events in AAPI history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843)  and contributions and sacrifices of Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress permanently expanded the observance from one week to an entire month long celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Manjiro: the first Japanese immigrant to arrive in the United states

In 1841 a 14-year-old fisherman and his crew were caught in a violent storm which left them stranded on a deserted island more than 300 miles away from their coastal Japanese village of Naka-no-hama. Six months later the fishermen were rescued by an American whaling ship. Unable to return home due to Japan’s exclusion law, Manjiro began a journey to America arriving in the country on May 7, 1843. So began a captivating saga about a life full of exceptional achievements including returning to Japan, where he was named a samurai and became an important political emissary between Japan and the West. 

 

Click the button below to read the full story of Manjiro Nakahama.

NakahamaJohnManjiro.png
Chinese Workers & America's first 
Transcontinental Railroad

Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants played an instrumental role in the construction of America’s first Transcontinental Railroad. The workforce for the largest engineering project of the time, crucial for development of the American West, was composed of as much as 90 percent Chinese workers for much of the construction. Stanford University recounts their story in the context of engrossing topographic contour maps.

 

Click the button below for Stanford University's virtual reconstruction of the key historic sites of the railroad.

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Be Proactive! 

7 Ways to Celebrate Pride month

1) Explore LGBTQ+ History in the U.S.

We suggest starting with,  "A Timeline of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in the United States."

2) Attend an Event

All Events.com has compiled a list of Pride festival parades, gay events and parties in Syracuse  happening throughout June. From virtual trivia quizzes to webinars to live broadcast of  Pride parades, there's something for everyone.

3) Patronize an LGBTQ+ Owned Business

Support an LGBTQ+ owned business near you! Put your money directly back into the community by purchasing your celebration gear locally.

4) Be Supportive!

Familiarize yourself with the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community and the resources available to help those who may need them. Here are a few resources to start with (most are local to CNY):

The LGBTQ Resouce Center of Syracuse University ⎮ National LGBTQ Chamber of Congress.  Gay Friendly Therapists in Syracuse, NY ⎮ Sage Upstate NY

5) Learn about LGBTQ+ Art and Artists

Check out the The Art Story.org. to learn about the lives and work by LGBTQ+ identified artists and find artwork associated with LGBTQ+ topics.

6) Participate in a Equity Challenge

Take the Central New York Business Equity Pledge right now!

7) Spread Awareness

 

Use social media to call attention to the achievements, influence and history of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. Encourage people to stand together against anti-LGBTQ+ hate. Use the suggestions below for ways to make a bigger impact with your posts.

#HASHTAGS

Spread awareness to the masses with hashtags. Don't limit the reach of your social media posts to just your followers, add a hashtag to your content so your message is accessible to all. Here are a few we suggest for LGBTQ+:

#PrideMonth

#LoveIsLove

#LGBTQ+Pride

#LGBTQIAP+Pride

#StopLGBTQ+Hate

LGBTQ+ PRIDE MONTH GRAPHICS

Please feel free to download and share the following graphics. Don't forget your hashtags!

Click on an image for a full-size view. Hover on or click on image to display share and download options.