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  • Writer's pictureRich Honiball

Today in Brand History: Pride Month

(photo credit:

The establishment of Pride Month can be traced back to the events of June 28, 1969, when the Stonewall uprising took place in New York City. This pivotal moment ignited a movement for LGBTQ+ rights and laid the foundation for the annual celebration of Pride Month, a time to celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community and its history.

The Stonewall uprising began as a response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village. The LGBTQ+ community, tired of enduring harassment and discrimination, fought back against the unjust treatment. This spontaneous act of resistance lasted for several days and sparked a wave of protests and demonstrations throughout the country.

(photo credit: In the years following the Stonewall uprising, LGBTQ+ activists and organizations emerged, advocating for equal rights and recognition. The first Pride march took place on June 28, 1970, marking the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. This event, known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, became the precursor to Pride parades and celebrations held worldwide.

Over time, Pride Month expanded beyond a single day of commemoration, encompassing the entire month of June. It became an opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to come together, celebrate diversity, and raise awareness about the ongoing struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is not only a celebration of identity and progress but also a reminder of the work that still needs to be done and serves as a platform to advocate for equality, inclusion, and acceptance for all.

Within the LGBTQ+ community, ongoing discussions and debates surround the direction and focus of Pride celebrations. Some individuals and groups advocate for maintaining the roots of Pride as a political and activist movement, emphasizing the fight for equal rights and recognition. Others see Pride as an opportunity for celebration, community-building, and cultural expression. These varying perspectives have led to important dialogues about the intersection of Pride, inclusivity, and social justice within the LGBTQ+ movement and community.

The development of symbols like the rainbow flag, the ongoing debates within the community, and the use of Pride as a branding platform are all significant milestones in the history of Pride Month. They reflect the ever-evolving nature of the LGBTQ+ movement and its continued fight for equality, acceptance, and celebration. The original Pride Flag was created in 1978 by artist and activist Gilbert Baker. Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, challenged Baker to design a symbol that would unite and represent the LGBTQ+ community. The flag was intended to be a positive and inclusive symbol that celebrated the diversity of the community. It featured eight vibrant colors, each carrying a specific meaning: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic/art, indigo for serenity, and violet for spirit. However, due to the unavailability of hot pink fabric, the flag was reduced to seven colors, removing pink and combining indigo and turquoise.

(photo credit: Over time, the Pride Flag has undergone some variations. In the 1980s, the flag transitioned to the six-stripe design that is widely recognized today. The six colors, each with its own significance, became the new standard for the Pride Flag: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony, and purple for spirit. In 2018, artist Daniel Quasar designed the Progress Pride flag. This updated version incorporated the black and brown stripes from the Philadelphia Pride flag and also included additional elements. The design integrated the traditional rainbow colors with the colors of the Trans Pride flag, which consists of light blue, pink, and white stripes. The Progress Pride flag aimed to further embrace and support transgender and non-binary individuals within the LGBTQ+ community.

In the world of branding, Pride Month has become an important opportunity for companies to demonstrate their support for the LGBTQ+ community. Many brands launch Pride-themed campaigns, create special products, and donate to LGBTQ+ organizations. While these efforts can contribute to visibility and awareness, there is ongoing discussion about the authenticity and impact of corporate involvement. Critics raise concerns about the potential for "rainbow capitalism" and the need for brands to prioritize meaningful action and support for LGBTQ+ causes throughout the year. In recent years, it has sparked debate from multiple sides creating continued controversy that illustrates the need for further progress.

Pride Month continues to evolve and spark important conversations about LGBTQ+ rights, representation, and inclusivity. It serves as a time to celebrate progress, honor the struggles of the past, and reaffirm the ongoing commitment to equality for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. (I intentionally planned to post this towards the end of the month, aligned with the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising on June 28th, and because the conversations, learnings, and respect for others should continue throughout the year. Apologies for missing that mark by a couple of days. Also, as with any of my posts, if I missed an important detail or misrepresented something, I am human! Please reach out and let me know.)


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