Brenda Howard: Mother of Pride

June is Pride Month — a designation that came out of the Stonewall riots and organizing the years after by American bisexual activist Brenda Howard.

 

“The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why Gay Pride Month is June tell them “A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.”

- Tom Limoncelli, Bisexual Activist, July 2005

Brenda Howard at an early Gay Rights protest in the 1970s.

Brenda Howard was an American LGBT and feminist activist who is known for organizing the first Pride parade. Howard was an original participant in the 1969 riots at Stonewall Inn, which are widely recognized as the most important event for the gay rights movement in the United States. To commemorate this event the following year, Howard organized an event called Christopher Street Liberation Day March, which became known as the first ever Pride parade in the world. In addition to the march itself, Howard was also the originator of week-long Pride events surrounding Pride marches as well as the name “Pride” itself.

In addition to these accomplishments, Brenda Howard was involved in many other aspects of LGBT and feminist activism through movements such as the Gay Activists Alliance, Gay Liberation Front, Stonewall 25, and through her foundation of the New York Area Bisexual Network. Today, there exists a Brenda Howard Memorial Award founded by the Queens, NYC chapter of PFLAG — the first of its kind to be named after an openly bisexual person, which is given annually to an individual or organization that works for the promotion of the LGBT and, more specifically, bisexual, community.

 

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