Pride Month celebrates diversity, inclusion Published June 7, 2021 By 2nd Lt. Evangelinn Rook 72nd Comptroller Squadron TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, a celebration of how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans have strengthened the country. This year’s theme across the Department of Defense is: “Respect, Dignity, and Service. Pride In All Who Serve.” The fight for respect and dignity in the LGBTQ+ community has been ongoing for decades. The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began on June 28, 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police hauled employees and patrons out of the bar. Six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement followed. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world. The struggles, sacrifices and successes among the LGBTQ+ community continue to shape the nation’s history and remind us to uphold tolerance and justice for all. Throughout history, LGBTQ service members and civilians have bravely served and defended our country. Diversity is more than race, gender and ethnicity — it means diversity of thought, ability, background, language, culture and skill. President Bill Clinton was the first president to officially recognize Pride Month when he released Proclamation 7316 on June 2, 2000, declaring the month as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” Then, June 1, 2009, President Barrack Obama’s Proclamation 8387 declared June as “LGBT Pride Month.” This month is meant to recognize and celebrate the progress our nation has made in the inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community while also remembering all they have undergone. During Pride Month, Americans celebrate our rich diversity and renew our enduring commitment to equity. This year, on June 1, 2021, President Joe Biden Jr. released a Proclamation formally declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month, or LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Further guidance as a result of the proclamation has yet to be implemented. While significant contributions have been made, it is important to recognize the value and importance of the LGBTQ+ community and continue the efforts at promoting acceptance and inclusion. The struggles, sacrifices and successes among the LGBTQ+ community continue to shape our history and remind us to uphold tolerance and justice for all. Integrity and respect are fundamental qualities of our military and civilian culture.