06/06/2014 11:18 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

8 Things You Don't Know About LGBT Pride

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBT brothers and sisters by heading to one of those colorful and wild parades, right? Right -- but there's more to LGBT Pride Month (first declared 'official' by Bill Clinton in 2000 and by Barack Obama in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) than short shorts and rainbow flags. This June, 2014, is celebrating Pride Month with special features from the LGBT Tribe for cities around the world. Ready to plan a trip? Head to this guide to Pride destinations for 2014. Read on for some lesser-known Pride facts and get ready for a party with a purpose!

1.The first EVER Pride Parade, in June of 1970, commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and was called the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March. It was more of a protest than a celebration!


Pride today, Washington DC. Photo by: ep_jhu, Flickr

Bonus Fact: The Stonewall Riots brought gay rights to national attention, and was an uprising following a raid on Stonewall, a gay bar on Christopher Street in New York's West Village -- that was run by the Mafia and required a password to enter.

2. The growing Pride movement sparked a late '80s and early '90s conservative backlash in the 'straight pride' movement.

3. Gilbert Baker, or the "Gay Betsy Ross," created the first rainbow flag in San Francisco, 1978. Its seven stripes were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet and represented sexuality, life, healing, the Sun, nature, art, harmony, and the spirit. Due to a lack of availability of hot pink and turquoise fabric, the flag today commonly has six stripes.


The current Pride flag, Photo by:torbakhopper, Flickr

4. Another common LGBT symbol, the pink triangle, was actually first used by the Nazis, to distinguish homosexual male concentration camp prisoners.

5. Looking for the BIGGEST LGBT Pride Parade? Head to São Paulo and join an estimated 4 million attendees in celebrating.


São Paulo Pride, Photo by: Ben Tavener, Flickr

6. South Africa USED to be the only Pride Parade on the continent. Not so anymore, since Cape Verde got in the game in 2006 and Mauritius in 2013.

7. Lots of 'firsts' in LGBT rights happened... in New York? Guess again. The Midwest is the clear leader. Illinois was the first state to remove sodomy from its criminal code in 1962. In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state to ban discrimination on basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations. Minneapolis, Minn. was the site of the first lesbian bookstore (the Amazon Bookstore Cooperative, 1970-2012) as well as the first state-wide law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people. When it come to same-sex marriage, though, the progressive vibes started in the East: Massachusetts was the first state to legalize it.

8. Pride at the Pentagon

In June 2012: the Pentagon held their first ever Gay Pride event. In 2013, Eric Fanning, the openly-gay acting secretary of the Air Force, made the closing remarks.

This post originally appeared on the Blog. Start planning your next adventure now.