Why do we celebrate Pride in June?
Pride events are held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969. At that time, LGBTQ+ people were often treated as criminals, and subject to frequent raids and even violence at the hands of local authorities. Leaders like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Stormé DeLarverie, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy worked to turn this rebellion into a lifelong revolution for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
Seven years ago, June became another banner month for the queer community. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5–4 decision (Obergefell v. Hodges) that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to grant and recognize same-sex marriages. Given the recent news surrounding the Supreme Court, there is no better time than the present to continue to fight for marriage rights, whether you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally.
In 2022, the voices and liberties of the queer community are still being suppressed. Many states are passing legislation that restricts the rights and speech of LGBTQ+ students, teachers, and their families. Some states are even proposing bills that criminalize offering certain books, to the point of threatening to jail librarians and teachers. The American Library Association has spoken out about this censorship, but these laws are becoming more common. At Alameda County Library, we honor the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community and stand against censorship. This year, we hope that everyone can stay vigilant to protect the rights of the queer community, while also finding joy in Pride Month.
Want to celebrate Pride? Below are some ideas for how you can participate!
Pride Month at Alameda County Library:
- Attend a Pride Storytime (TBD)
- Check out AC Library's Listen Inn program to hear firsthand narratives about gay marriage by selecting "A Marriage Story Pts. 1 and 2"
- Drop in for a Pride craft at San Lorenzo Library (every Tuesday in June)
- Meet authors at our Pride on the Page virtual author panel
- Come to a Drag Queen Story Hour with the amazing Panda Dulce at San Lorenzo Library
- Attend our virtual Pride Booth Fair
- Flex your trivia muscles with our LGBTQ+ trivia event (for teens and adults, June 19th at San Lorenzo Library)
- Attend our virtual book talk with author Rhea Ewing as they discuss their book, FINE: a comic about gender
- Tune into the Albany Film Fest to watch a screening of TherActivist, followed by a Q&A
Celebrate Pride in the Bay Area:
- Attend San Francisco Pride, a popular event that's been going on over 50 years!
- Support queer artists and craftspeople at Oakland Black Pride's Queer Expo
- Visit the site of the Compton's Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco and learn more about LGBTQ+ history
- Check out the East Bay Queer Arts Center
- Donate to organizations like The Trevor Project and The Oakland LGBTQ Center to help support queer youth and adults
- Check out the American Library Association (ALA)'s stance on censorship, racial justice and free speech, and affirming the rights of transgender people
- Fight censorship by reading banned books! Read the book Gender Queer, the most challenged book of the past year.
- Take a look at ACL's Pride booklists
- Download an eBook to your favorite device