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    10 minutes read
    Jun 13, 2023
    Celebrating PRIDE 101!

    By Dr. Sophia Murphy, DBH, SXI

    Did you know that the month of June is designated as Pride Month? If you’re curious and want to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community, read on for history, facts, and some helpful vocabulary!

    The First Pride Was a Riot!

    In 1969 on June 28, a predominant gay bar called The Stonewall Inn, was raided by police in New York City. While raids on gay establishments were common during that time and gay patrons had fought back before, this specific raid kicked off the historical uprising that lasted 6 days. Homosexuality was illegal during this time and many gay bars operated without a liquor license which left them vulnerable to police raids and police brutality. Resistance from patrons that night led to a lock-in that eventually led to protestors marching in the street. As word of the Stonewall incident spread, thousands of people marched in solidarity and protest. Following that night, a liberation movement occurred and one year later the first ever Pride Parade took place on June 28th to commemorate the anniversary of that riot. (3,4)

    Terminology and Helpful Information

    You’ve probably seen LGBTQ and other combinations of letters used to describe the community. What do they all mean? Well, these are acronyms of all the ways people identify themselves! The current and most inclusive list of letters (although it continues to evolve) include LGBTQQIP2SA which stands for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Pansexual, Two-Spirited, and Asexual. If you’re not familiar with all of the terms mentioned, below are some helpful definitions (2)! Note: many terms are rooted in and still subscribe to a binary standard of “male/female.”

    • Lesbian: A term used to describe a woman who is emotionally, romantically, sexually, or affectionately attracted to other women.
    • Gay: A term used to describe a man who is emotionally, romantically, sexually, or affectionately attracted to other men. At times, “gay” is used to refer to all people, regardless of sex, who have their primary sexual and or romantic attractions to people of the same sex.
    • Bisexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, and/or physical attraction to people of their own biological sex, as well as, another biological sex.
    • Transgender: A blanket term used to describe all individuals whose gender identity does not align their biological sex.
    • Queer: Term describing people who have a non-normative gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual anatomy -- can include lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, transgender people, and a host of other identities. Since the term is sometimes used as a slur, it has a negative connotation for some LGBT people; nevertheless, others have reclaimed it and feel comfortable using it to describe themselves.
    • Questioning: The process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
    • Intersex: A medical definition for a person born with chromosomes, genitalia, and/or secondary sexual characteristics that are inconsistent with the biological understanding of a male or female body.
    • Pansexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to others regardless of gender identities/expressions or biological property.
    • Two-Spirit: Contemporary term chosen by Native American/Indigenous people who identify with a third gender, implying a masculine and a feminine spirit in one body.
    • Asexual: A person who generally does not experience sexual attraction (or very little) to any group of people. May still have romantic, emotional, affectionate, or relational attractions towards others.

    Gender vs. Sex vs. Sexual Orientation (And More!)

    Did you know that while these terms are often used interchangeably, doing so is actually using them incorrectly? A person’s biological sex refers to the sex organs (genitalia) they were born with and the sex that they were assigned at birth. This typically falls into three categories (male=penis, female=vulva, intersex=both genitalia). Gender is a social construct which more reflects a person’s identity and how they psychologically understand themselves and ranges on a spectrum. This may be similar to or different from how a person expresses their gender! Sexual orientation is more affiliated with who someone is sexually attracted to which can also be similar to/different from who someone is romantically attracted to. Identity does not equate to expression which also does not equate to sex. Sex also doesn’t equal sexual orientation.(1) See below for a helpful graphic on terms!

    genderbread minimal.jpg Source: https://www.genderbread.org/resource/genderbread-person-minimal-3-3

    Ready to Celebrate?

    There are lots of fun and different ways to celebrate Pride this month! Many major cities have websites dedicated to pride with listings for events and you can find yours by googling your “city name + pride” (see some links below)!

    You can also get creative if you rather celebrate at home by making your own decorations (Pride signs, flags) or even inviting friends/family for a party. Whether you want to party with a huge crowd or your closest people, Pride is a month to educate, donate, be an ally, to spread awareness, and celebrate all the ways love wins! 🏳️‍🌈

    • https://lapride.org/
    • https://sfpride.org/
    • https://phoenixpride.org/
    • https://denverpride.org/
    • https://www.nycpride.org/


    1. The Genderbread Person. (n.d). https://www.genderbread.org/
    2. LGBTQ Terms and Definitions. Loyola University Maryland. https://www.loyola.edu/department/lgbtq-services/resources/lgbtq-terms-definitions#:~:text=LGBTQQIP2SA%3A%20any%20combination%20of%20letters,Two%2DSpirited%2C%20and%20Asexual
    3. Metcalf, M. (n.d). The History of Pride: How activists fought to create lgbtq+ pride. Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/ghe/cascade/index.html?appid=90dcc35abb714a24914c68c9654adb67
    4. The Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/june-28/
    Reviewed by Adrienne Ton, NP on Jun 13, 2023

    This article provides information about sexual health, healthcare and/or related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of TBD Health Inc.

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