This D&I Newsletter is dedicated to LGBTQIA+ Pride Month to celebrate the history of LGBTQIA+ civil rights and the impact this community has had on society. In this month's newsletter, we hope to spotlight the LBGTQIA+ experience and how intersectionality aids in creating a space where all is welcome, and how this community pushes forward towards advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as how others can be vocal allies to stand in solidarity with this community to create change and live with Pride.
What is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month?
Pride Month commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community and the accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ individuals. Colorful, uplifting parades with floats and celebrities, joyous festivals, workshops, picnics, and parties are among the principal components of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, which is celebrated during June in the United States.
How Did Pride Month Get Started?
The organized pursuit of gay rights in the United States reaches back to at least 1924 with the founding of the Society of Human Rights in Chicago by Henry Gerber. But the event that catalyzed the gay rights movement came on June 28th, 1969 in New York City’s Greenwich Village, at the Stonewall Inn. In the early morning hours of June 28th, police raided this popular gathering place for young gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people—arresting the employees, roughing up many of the patrons, and clearing out the bar. Outside, the crowd that watched the bar’s patrons being herded into police vans became enraged. Whereas previous witnesses to police harassment of members of the LGBTQIA+ community had stood by passively, this time the crowd jeered the police and threw coins and debris at them, forcing the police to barricade themselves in the bar to await backup. Meanwhile, some 400 people rioted. Although police reinforcements dispersed the crowd, riots waned and waxed outside the bar for the next five days, and these Stonewall riots (also called the Stonewall uprising) provided the spark that ignited the gay rights movement in the United States.
Before the Stonewall riots, LGBTQIA+ individuals had generally not broadcast their sexual orientation or identity, but the event galvanized the community and sparked greater political activism. At the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations in Philadelphia on November 2, 1969, the idea of a march in response to the Stonewall events was proposed. Scheduled for June 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, several hundred demonstrators marched 51 blocks including Greenwich Village’s Christopher Street, which runs past the Stonewall, in what many consider the first Gay Pride march (though other commemorations were also held that year).
The day before the Pride march in New York City, some 150 people in Chicago had capped off a weeklong event with the country’s first march commemorating Stonewall. On the day of the New York march, “the world’s first permitted parade advocating for gay rights” was staged on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles and a “Gay In” was held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Thereafter, Gay Pride generally came to be celebrated in the United States on the last Sunday in June (though there are many exceptions) as somber marches evolved into joyous celebrations. In time, the day expanded to become a month-long event.
What is the legacy of Pride?
The early demonstrations often focused simply on participants’ being proud to be out of the closet, on individual freedom, and the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community. But by the 1980s—particularly after the spread of AIDS—political and social activism had become central to Pride events, and many of the marchers carried placards that focused on the social issues of the day. As acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community increased among the straight community, politicians sympathetic to the views of the LGBTQIA+ community and gay-friendly businesses/corporations began participating in the marches. The total number of people participating—both gay and straight—mushroomed, and Pride events were held in many parts of the globe, including cities where they sometimes encountered stiff resistance (e.g., in Jerusalem, Moscow, and Warsaw). In cities such as Amsterdam, Chicago, London, Madrid, Mexico City, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and São Paulo, Pride events usually attract several hundred thousand to more than a million attendees annually. While there have been many advances with the LGBTQIA+ rights movement, including landmark Supreme Court decisions, the most marginalized are still suffering from violence, discrimination, and fear, particularly trans, people of color, and HIV+. The Pride movement will continue to play a pivotal role in promoting conversation and change across our country and around the world.
Resources & Recommendations
Through the collective efforts and contributions of several Palisades Media Group team members, the D&I team has selected a handful of artists, content, and other resources to highlight for Pride Month.
Your Name Engraved Herein (Film)
Where to see more: Netflix
About the film: As martial law ends in 1980s Taiwan, two male students, Chang Jia-han (A-han) and Wang Bo Te (Birdy), fall in love amid family pressure, homophobia, and broader social change. A new student, Birdy, arrives at an all-boys Catholic high school, where he and A-han soon become fast friends; both are musicians in the school band, where they engage in antics while exchanging long glances. The school’s priest and bandleader, Father Oliver, remind the students to “profiter du moment” (live in the moment), leading A-han to deepen his bond with Birdy. The two boys take a trip to Taipei—ostensibly to mourn the death of President Chiang Ching-kuo—and grow closer through their adventures in the capital. Despite the mutual interest, the pair remain hesitant to act on their budding attraction. The introduction of co-educational schooling adds a wrinkle to their relationship, as the arrival of female students irrevocably transforms classroom dynamics. Birdy catches the eye of a female classmate, who offers the hope of socially acceptable heterosexual romance, but A-han holds onto his affection for Birdy. Repeated incidents of conflict and reconciliation draw the pair together and break them apart before fate finally takes them in different directions.
Why This is Important: Coming out of Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May and jumping into Pride Month, this film shines a light on homosexuality in Asian culture and the harsh realities for many LGBTQIA+ AAPI. The film really resonated with me as it explored the innocence of first love, and how conflicted this feeling of loving someone society and religion says that you shouldn’t impact your mental health. As a Gay, Asian American, Catholic man, the intersectionality of all these points of my experience, offers a completely different lived reality that is hard to capture; from the naïve exploration of sexuality, to blind self-hate, and the inability to find support from those around you – family, friends, teachers, etc. By having this international film portray this unique perspective, on a platform like Netflix, larger audiences can also get a glimpse into this world and further understand another area of Pride outside of what is told from the typical White, Cis-gay man. I encourage others to dive deeper into areas of intersectionality this Pride to better understand the diverse communities within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella. Happy Pride! - Austin Dumlao
Aaron Philip (She/Her)
About the Artist: Aaron Philip is a young model who is changing the face of fashion and entertainment. She made history by being the first Black, transgender, and disabled model to be signed to a major modeling agency. Aaron is a vocal advocate for authentic transgender and disability representation in high fashion and seeks not to have her community erased, unseen, misunderstood, and made to feel inadequate.
Her Work: She made her runway debut in 2019 and was featured on Beyonce’s website during Black History Month, PAPER Magazine’s 2019 Pride issue, and starred in a Nike campaign.
Straight For Equality (Non-Profit)
Where to find information: www.straightforequality.org
About the organization: Straight for Equality is a national outreach and education program created in 2007 by PFLAG National to empower new allies who, unlike a more traditional PFLAG member, don’t necessarily have a family connection to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQIA+) community. If you can say, “I have an LGBTQIA+ friend (or coworker, or acquaintance)” this is the place for you.
Learning Sessions: Straight For Equality In The Workplace Learning Sessions
Why it's important: Straight for Equality provides information and resources that will help allies understand their role in supporting and advocating for LGBTQIA+ people. PFLAG’s work with parents and families over the past 45 years has helped Straight For Equality learn that there is a coming out process for allies. It takes learning and resources if allies want to move from just feeling supportive to actively being supportive. Allies don’t need to be totally "there" on all issues, or know everything about statistics, national legislation, or state-wide ballot initiatives but willing to learn more and speak up when and if you have the chance - Gigi Martin-Duarte
Historically Queer (Podcast)
Listen Here : https://www.historicallyqueer.com/
About the Podcast: Bi-weekly podcast that discusses various movements and topics by LGBTQ activists of color. Listeners meet several trailblazers of LGBTQ rights and uncover how race, gender, and sexuality are inseparable and intertwined when it comes to the fight for LGBTQ rights within a highly political society.
Why it’s Important: Hearing powerful, personal, and courageous stories from activists within underrepresented and often suppressed communities and how they make a difference to give those who feel they cannot and do not have a voice feel strong enough to fight for accurate representation fundamental rights is inspiring. Hopefully, it will continue to ignite others to tell their own stories and be heard and seen.
Why is the Rainbow Flag a symbol of Pride?
It goes back to 1978, when the artist Gilbert Baker, an openly gay man and a drag queen, designed the first rainbow flag. Baker later revealed that he was urged by Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., to create a symbol of pride for the gay community. Baker decided to make that symbol a flag because he saw flags as the most powerful symbol of Pride. As he later said in an interview, “Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that’s a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, ‘This is who I am!’” Baker saw the rainbow as a natural flag from the sky, so he adopted eight colors for the stripes, each color with its own meaning (hot pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit).
The first versions of the rainbow flag were flown on June 25, 1978, for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade. Baker and a team of volunteers had made them by hand, and he wanted to mass-produce the flag for consumption by all. However, because of production issues, the pink and turquoise stripes were removed and indigo was replaced by basic blue, which resulted in the contemporary six-striped flag (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet). Today this is the most common variant of the rainbow flag, with the red stripe on top, as in a natural rainbow. The various colors came to reflect both the immense diversity and the unity of the LGBTQIA+ community.
It was not until 1994 that the rainbow flag was truly established as the symbol for LGBTQIA+ Pride. That year Baker made a mile-long version for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Now the rainbow flag is an international symbol for LGBTQIA+ Pride and can be seen flying proudly, during both the promising times and the difficult ones, all around the world.
The ABC’s of LGBTQIA+
Even if you identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, it can be difficult to fully understand all seven characters of this acronym. And for those who aren't LGBTQIA+, it can be that much more confounding. What exactly does each letter stand for? And how can a few letters define an entire community? Considering a recent survey by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that 12 percent of the population identifies as LGBTQIA+, it's more crucial than ever to understand the terminology around this growing community.
- L: Lesbian
- G: Gay
- B: Bisexual
- T: Transgender
- Q: Queer or Questioning
- I: Intersex
- A: Asexual or Ally
- +: Pansexual and Other Non-Heterosexual People
Here is a quick link for definitions of each letter. The more you know!
PMG Diversity Spotlight
Assistant Strategist, Netflix
For years, I was never certain about my place within this community. Being a Male POC from the South, it’s easy to lose touch with parts of yourself in order to fit into the status quo. But, with time and study, I gained confidence and acceptance with myself, my family, and my overly supportive friends who wanted nothing but for me to live in my truth. Now, going into my 26th year around the Sun in a new city, I’m SUPER excited to celebrate PRIDE month and to experience all that my community has to offer. I’m no longer ashamed or fearful of retribution, but rather I’m more motivated than ever to make my voice heard and champion LGBTQIA+ issues so that kids and young adults out there feel seen, heard, and valued for what makes them exactly who they are! This is what PRIDE Month means to me!
ProjectQ provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth in Los Angeles. Madin Ray Lopez (they/them) founded this organization because they wanted to give those who have been marginalized by their community, a sense of empowerment and pride in the form of a gender-affirming haircut. Since its development, ProjectQ now also provides a wide variety of free mentorship and workshops to continue to nurture these individuals to live successful and fulfilling lives.
ProjectQ helps LGBTQIA+ youth navigate a world that perpetually tries to diminish them. Their mission is to use hair and self-empowerment as a form of social justice.
ProjectQ has been featured on LA Times, USAToday, NowThis News, and many more
Interested in their programs? Take a look here
Ways To Help + Donate
Help by making a one-time donation or becoming a member
Members can sign up for recurring monthly payments at different levels
Although their Volunteer Roster is full, send them an email to find out about upcoming availability
Visit their full-service salon or purchase their hair care products, called Project Qurls, created by founder Madin Ray Lopez specifically for curly-haired people of all genders.
Follow Project Q
The Golden Bull
Location: 170 W Channel Road, Santa Monica
The Golden Bull, an iconic restaurant and bar in Santa Monica, has welcomed both locals and icons from Tennessee Williams to Rock Hudson. It was the original safe haven for the gay community in Los Angeles and a lively place for stiff martinis and prime rib steaks. Opened in 1949, the restaurant has gone through multiple name iterations – Eddie’s Restaurant, Billingsley’s Golden Bull, and finally, The Golden Bull. New restaurant owners have kept the character and legacy of the place by keeping with the old school décor with dimly lit dark leather booths, red walls and wood paneling. The walls feature black and white photographs that highlight the history of the restaurant and Santa Monica Canyon. Besides an early happy hour, The Golden Bull is open for dinner 7 days a week and brunch on the weekends. Since the pandemic, the restaurant has created a beautiful outdoor dining patio.
Our Team’s Recommendations: Steak Frites, Salmon with Bearnaise Sauce, French Onion Soup, Margaritas with fresh lime juice
Recruitment, Mentorship & Retention
Commitment to Progress (Organization Spotlight)
Introduction to HRC and the Corporate Equality Index
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s mission is to “improve the lives of LGBTQ people by working to increase understanding and encouraging the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.” HRC has been striving to create workplace equality for LGBTQ employees for decades, with its most measurable success through the establishment of the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) 19 years ago.
With a growing population of people who identify as a member of the LGBTQIA community, companies are showing a higher level of commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity. The CEI rating system is designed to help businesses benchmark their strides and gauge their level of LGBTQ inclusion in comparison with other corporations. The outcome is meant to result in greater recruitment and retention of LGBTQ workers to create a more diverse, talented workforce. CEI measures businesses with 500 employees or more and has criteria that are divided into 3 categories.
- Nondiscrimination policies across business entities represent workforce protections including sexual orientation and gender identity
- Equitable benefits like health insurance and medical for LGBTQ workers and their families (both spousal and domestic)
- Supporting inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility such as internal education and training best practices, LGBTQ employee resource group or diversity council, and engagement with the LGBTQ community
While it’s certainly not the only way to assess a company’s diverse culture and inclusion practices, it has been instrumental in contributing to accelerated progress for the LGBTQ community within the workplace. The past twelve months have shown growth in almost every measurement category! The most significant progress has been made in terms of the prevalent adoption of transgender-inclusive initiatives across businesses.