In the Community

Happy Pride - 2023

June 30, 2023

Fifty-four years ago this week, the Stonewall Uprising at the Stonewall Inn in New York City sparked a movement. In 1970, the following year on the first anniversary of the uprising the first Pride marches were held in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

“In June 2000, President Bill Clinton officially designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, in recognition of the Stonewall Riots and gay activism throughout the years. A more-inclusive name was chosen in 2009 by President Barack Obama: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month.” Library of Congress Pride Portal.

While Pride events are always celebrations, they are also a protest. With more than 530 anti-LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit, and the countless affirmative ways in which people choose to self-identify) bills being proposed in 2023 alone and many passing through state government, 2023 Pride events are extremely important to support and acknowledge the suffering of the past and the fights still happening in the LGBTQIA2S+ community today.

Montana has become the first and only state in the nation to specifically prohibit anyone wearing drag from reading to children in schools and libraries. Shortly after the law was signed, a local library in Butte-Silver Bow County canceled a reading given by a transgender woman, citing the law.

Senate Bill 458 also called LGBTQ erasure act which defines sex as binary and determined by reproductive capacity passed both the Montana House and Senate and was signed by Governor Gianforte. He also signed one allowing public schools to out transgender students to their parents and one that will let parents withdraw their children from school if they object to the day’s lesson plan.

Finally, Senate Bill 99, was signed into law on April 28, 2023, which bans healthcare for transgender youth such as puberty blockers and hormone treatment, is scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2023. The bill is now the center of a lawsuit filed by two Montana Families, two medical providers, and the ACLU of Montana.

Even with all these obstacles, June has been a month full of celebrations around the state including Bozeman, Red Lodge, Flathead, Missoula, Billings, Great Falls, Anaconda, and Big Sky Pride. If you attended any of these celebrations, we would love to see your pictures and hear your stories.

Below is a list of the upcoming celebrations still to happen in July and August. Montana Pride in Helena will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year.