As the years go by, the origins of Pride month may seem less relevant. June has become a month full of rainbow parties and books about being yourself, which, in some ways, is really great. However, the origins of the holiday are important to discuss. Pride month commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The Stonewall Riots were a response to police violence and raids of gay bars. In the 50s and 60s, police raids of gay bars were commonplace – police would enter bars and arrest patrons for breaking anti-homosexuality laws. Trans women, drag queens, butch lesbians, and other gender non-conforming people were particularly targeted.
Talking about this history can be difficult and upsetting; a lot of people would rather focus on parades and parties and rainbows. However, we cannot forget or erase history.
So, how can we talk to our kids about the violent oppression of LGBTQ people in the United States? Take it a little bit at a time.
Start with talking about the fact that LGBTQ people are not accepted by everyone, and that it took a long time for the United States to reach the point it is currently at.
Talk about how the government can pass and enforce laws that are unjust. -Talk about activists who fought for LGBTQ rights, like Martha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
When you feel your child is ready, talk to them about homophobic and transphobic violence. Although it can feel uncomfortable and impossible, this history is just as important to teach during Pride month as values of acceptance.
To get the conversation started, we created a book list for kids of all ages. Go here to download the PDF.
See some of the selections below. Click on the image to put a hold on the book. If you need assistance or are looking for other resources, please reach out to us at 708-366-7171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many more can be found at the Library. Go here to see the list.