An Overview of Pride Month and Its Celebrations
Every June, the world lights up with rainbow colors as the LGBTQ+ community and its allies come together to celebrate Pride Month. This annual commemoration marks the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 in New York City — a pivotal event in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Pride parades and events, bedecked in vibrant colors and unwavering spirit, are central to this celebration, serving as both a demonstration of social progress and a reminder of the battles yet to be won.
Spotlight on Sexual Orientation Discrimination
However, even as we celebrate progress, it’s essential to acknowledge ongoing challenges. Among these challenges is sexual orientation discrimination, which remains a significant issue, particularly in the workplace. Despite the forward steps taken in societal acceptance towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, workplace discrimination persists.
Historically, federal law in the United States did not offer explicit protection for sexual orientation or transgender status under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has interpreted the clause outlawing discrimination based on gender to encompass discrimination rooted in sexual orientation and gender identity. To fortify protections, many states, including New Jersey, have passed specific laws to combat such discrimination.
Workplace discrimination against LGBT individuals remains all too frequent. Reports indicate that a significant percentage of gay individuals have been victims of workplace harassment, with experiences ranging from offensive comments to more severe forms of discrimination. Even during job application processes, LGBT Americans face discrimination, including biased interviewing practices or unjust rejection of applications. Furthermore, pay and advancement gaps suggest systemic issues of inequality that extend beyond hiring.
In New Jersey, the Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) serves as a critical legal safeguard. It prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, offering protection for a diverse range of sexual orientations and gender identities. The law extends to cover discrimination based on an individual’s sex, familial status, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and even an individual’s AIDS or HIV status.
Despite these protections, many LGBT individuals continue to face workplace discrimination, manifesting as harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation. Additionally, creating a hostile work environment through inappropriate remarks or jokes, differential treatment or compensation due to one’s sexual orientation, and discrimination based on an individual’s gender expression are prevalent.
In a landmark ruling on June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court asserted that under federal law, an employer cannot dismiss an employee due to their being gay or transgender. This marked a significant advancement for the LGBT community and set a precedent that influences the interpretation and handling of sexual orientation discrimination cases across the United States. It’s expected to contribute to creating more inclusive workplaces for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
But even with these legal protections, the fight for full equality continues. The Pride events and parades serve as a potent reminder of the ongoing struggle for rights, equality, and acceptance. Now, let’s take a detailed look at the prominent Pride events happening in New Jersey and New York City from June 22, 2023.
New Jersey Pride Events
Equality Cape May Pride March
On June 22, take part in the Equality Cape May Pride March. Gather at Cove Beach at 5:45 pm, march towards Convention Hall, and continue the festivities at the after-party at the Inn Of Cape May. This march is a call for unity, and a chance to walk shoulder to shoulder in support of LGBTQ+ rights.
Pride Prom at Flemington DIY
On June 23, step into a night of inclusivity and joy at the Pride Prom at Flemington DIY. Dress in your most comfortable outfit, and enjoy an evening filled with dancing, camaraderie, and support for the Okra Project. The event encourages attendees to be their authentic selves and builds a stronger community through celebration.
Pride Run – 5k
Start your day with an invigorating Pride Run – 5k along Hoboken’s beautiful waterfront on June 24. A small donation to the Hudson Pride Center will earn you some colorful goodies, making your run even more festive.
Morris County Pride Festival 2023
Also on June 24 is the Morris County Pride Festival 2023. This family-friendly event at the County College of Morris celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, fostering visibility and local programming.
ArtWorks Pride Night
That evening, immerse yourself in an artful celebration at ArtWorks Pride Night. Enjoy live performances and an Artworks Pop-Up Pride Exhibition while contributing to LGBTQ+ rights organizations like Lamda Legal.
Trek New Jersey Pride Ride & Rainbow Rhapsody
June 25 offers a casual bike cruise — Trek New Jersey Pride Ride — and the Rainbow Rhapsody concert featuring music by LGBTQIA+ composers.
Pride & Puppies Drag Show Fundraiser
On June 28, laugh, drink, and enjoy an incredible show at the Pride & Puppies Drag Show Fundraiser. Organized by Southern Paws Inc., this event combines fun with philanthropy.
Vogue Roll: Pride Adult Skate
End the month on a high note at the Vogue Roll: Pride Adult Skate on June 30. DJ Alley Al will keep the party going as you skate the night away.
New York City Pride Events
NYC Drag March
Kick-start the New York City Pride celebrations with the NYC Drag March on June 23. Known for its flamboyant costumes and fervor, this event pays tribute to the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn.
NYC Pride March
On June 25, join the sea of rainbow colors at the NYC Pride March. This year’s theme, “Stand in Solidarity,” seeks to unite everyone in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The march begins with a moment of silence to honor those lost to the AIDS epidemic and victims of hate crimes, making it not only a celebration but also a powerful reminder of the struggle for equality.
Queer Liberation March
Simultaneously, the Queer Liberation March offers a grassroots alternative parade. Organized by Reclaim Pride NYC, this event serves as a peaceful protest against the commercialization of Pride celebrations and stands in solidarity with the silenced, marginalized, and oppressed communities.
Regardless of where you find yourself this Pride Month — in New Jersey or New York City — remember the reason behind the celebration. It’s a call for equality, acceptance, and love. Each colorful flag flown, each step taken in a march, and each cheer heard is another step forward in the journey towards a world where everyone is free to be themselves.