At Apptentive, we have an employee-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity committee. One of our committee’s goals is to educate our team and community about important issues, history, holidays, and movements.

For the month of June, we’re diving into the history of Pride, what it means today, and ways in which our community can become involved to support fellow LGBTQ+ colleagues, friends, and family.

History of Pride

Most Pride events are held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City on June 28, 1969. At the time, police raids on bars catering to LQBTQ+ patrons were common, but that night, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back. These events began what most historians consider to be the birth of the modern LQBTQ+ movement. Pride began as a protest, but has morphed into a celebration of self-love, diversity, and acceptance. Pride Month also increases society’s awareness about issues that disproportionately affect the LGBTQ+ community, like the fight for equal rights, freedom from violence, and discriminatory workplace practices.

Did you know? Seattle Pride is one of the oldest of its kind in the USA, and has been coloring the city streets each summer since 1974!

Historic figures, accomplishments, and progress

While the LQBTQ+ community at large continues to advocate for justice, progress, and equality, here is a small sample of noteworthy people and accomplishments made thus far.

  1. Harvey Milk won a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, and emerged as one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials, spearheading an important anti-discrimination measure.
  2. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black, gay liberation activist, and self-identified drag queen, was a community organizer and prominent leader in the Stonewall uprising of 1989. Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, and with Sylvia Rivera, Johnson established the STAR House, a shelter for homeless gay and trans kids in 1972.
  3. Enacted in 2010, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was repealed, thus allowing gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to serve openly in the United States Armed Forces. It ended the policy in place since 1993 that allowed them to serve only if they kept their sexual orientation secret and the military did not learn of their sexual orientation.
  4. Same-sex marriage is federally legalized in all 50 states on June 26, 2015.
  5. Rachel Levine makes history as the highest-ranking trans federal official, as the assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
  6. The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to explicitly prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It has passed the House and is now awaiting the Senate.

The road ahead

Beyond the celebratory aspects of Pride, it is important to continue to address and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and equality. Violence against transgender women, particularly those of color, continue to rise in numbers. There are still 29 U.S. States that do not protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students are more than twice as likely to report depression symptoms than their heterosexual classmates.

The LGBTQ+ community needs our support, love, funding, voices, and more, until we can all live equally and free from discrimination. That sounds like a big ask, so what can you do?

LGBTQ education and community involvement

  • Continue to share and discuss LGBTQ+ stories and issues with family and friends.
  • Support LGBTQ+ businesses and services.
  • Use inclusive language; share your pronouns.
  • Educate yourself on the LGBTQ+ community and history.
  • Respect others, regardless of their sex, race, gender identity or expression.
  • Sign petitions, call your local legislators, and get involved in a cause you believe in.

At Apptentive, we celebrate and recognize Pride as a team to help raise awareness and create a more diverse and inclusive community.

Since our vision is to give a voice to every customer, we also want to give a voice to every employee and every person. We believe every voice matters.

We are proud allies for our teammates, friends, families, and our larger community today and every day.

If you are a person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, call the TrevorLifeline now at 1-866-488-7386 or contact the Trevor Project Help Center here.