Rainbow flags, sequins, and feathers abound in the month of June to celebrate LGTBQ Pride Month – but the history behind the now joyous occasion is not so bright. Pride was born in New York City in 1970, as an event to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich and demand equal rights. Originally it only lasted a day but over time became a month-long series of events. It was not until 1991 that Pride transformed into the celebratory month people have come to know.
LGTBQ rights have made slow progress in the United States. Same-sex marriage was only made legal in 2015 by former President Barack Obama – still, some people find it unfair that the community gets a whole month to celebrate their history and rights. In a Reddit group, someone re-posted a meme from Facebook to display their frustration but were quickly shut down.
For LGTBQ Pride Month someone tried to attack the extended celebration online with an offensive meme – but were quickly shut down
One commenter quickly explained that there was, in fact, a National Military Appreciation Month and schooled them with facts
National Military Appreciation Month was declared by Congress in 1999. May was chosen because it has many individual days within it that mark the military’s achievements, including Loyalty Day, established in 1921, Victory in Europe (VE) Day commemorating the end of WWII in Europe in 1945, Children of Fallen Patriots Day and the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.
Illinois was the first U.S state to decriminalize homosexuality by repealing their sodomy laws in July 1961. According to ILGA, an international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex advocacy group, there are 70 U.N. member States that still criminalize consensual same-sex sexual acts. The activism organization 76 Crimes also includes non-U.N. member nations, Palestine and the Cook Islands, as well as Indonesia, “where a large province and some cities outlaw homosexual acts.”
While some responses came from LGTBQ military veterans who explained how ridiculous the argument was by sharing their experiences
In a health survey released last year by the RAND Corporation, 6.1 percent of people in the U.S. military self-identified as LGBT . It was the first ever direct estimate of the military’s LGBT population, even though LGB people have been allowed to serve openly for seven whole years.
The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which forced LGB service members to hide their sexualities, was repealed in 2011. In June of 2016, the Department of Defense dropped a ban on military enrollment of trans people, which President Trump has reinstated. Lt Col Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokesperson, confirmed to the Washington Blade in April when the new measure came back into effect, “Transgender members currently serving will be able to continue serving so we do not anticipate any discharges,” the spokesperson said. “I am not yet aware of any denials.”