This June marks 42 years of Pride Parades in New York City, and AOL's Out at AOL club is getting involved in the latest, greatest Pride as part of a strong and evolving tradition celebrating inclusivity and marking the incredible progress of a powerful movement.
The original "Gay Liberation Day" in 1970 marked the anniversary of riots that took place the year before at the Stonewall Inn in the West Village of New York City, only a few blocks from AOL's headquarters. Police had responded to reports of gay men and drag queens gathering near Stonewall to mark the death of Judy Garland, and many resisted attempts to arrest them just for being gay. They stood up for their rights when it would have been easy not to, and we honor their bravery each year.
In an era when drag queens are a regular feature on top-rated television shows, when prominent politicians, entertainers and business leaders are out and proud, it can be difficult to remember the challenges faced by early gay communities. The bravery to stand up for who they were defined the early gay activists, and it resonates strongly as the fight for marriage equality, won last year in New York State, continues today.
AOL and The Huffington Post are marking Gay Pride across June, and the focus for events this year is around Pride Weekend in New York on June 22 to 24.
In addition to plans for a presence marching in the Pride Parade on Sunday June 24, the Out at AOL club will host a celebrity-laden Happy Hour for all employees at AOL headquarters on Friday, June 22, and two lucky AOL employees from other North American offices will be given the chance to win a sweepstakes to travel to New York Pride for all the events.
We're looking forward to featuring AOL's Pride here on Gay Voices over the next few weeks. If you are lucky enough to be at AOL, join us in celebrating a special month. If you aren't at AOL, let us know what your company is planning for Pride Month, and if you are in New York, look out for us at the Pride Parade on June 24!