June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month! Since it was first recognized on a federal level in 1999, Pride Month has served as a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ pioneers who fought for equality through art, culture, civic action, community service, and more.
The month of June was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, which began on June 28, 1969, when New York City police officers raided a tavern in Greenwich Village called the Stonewall Inn, which was known for its support for the City’s LGBTQ+ community. The resulting clash would continue for six days in the surrounding neighborhood, as protesters sent the emphatic message that the LGBTQ+ community was ready to fight for their right to exist and live openly without fear of arrest.
In 1970, the one-year anniversary of the riots was marked by bisexual activist Brenda Howard, who first organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade along with a committee of other activists. Her parade evolved into the New York City Pride March that continues to this day, and which has inspired similar parades across the country and around the world.
Today, paradegoers will be surrounded by rainbows, which have become a symbol for the LGBTQ+ community because of the original pride flag designed by the artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. Baker's original flag, which has since been modified from eight to six stripes, has inspired the creation of many others, including the Progress Pride flag, which was created in 2018 by by nonbinary artist Daniel Quasar. The "Pride" banner on this webpage is inspired by Qasar's design, which represents diversity and inclusion with the addition of black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTIQ+ people of color, as well as the triad of blue, pink and white from the trans flag.
In 2023, the theme of NYC Pride is Strength in Solidarity, which “highlights the cultural significance of the LGBTQ+ community within the fabric of modern society, while acknowledging every individual’s uniqueness and ability to wield tremendous power when united with others. In a world where platforms of hatred and violence are upheld and even celebrated, NYC Pride seeks to illuminate the good that can and has been accomplished through uplifting and supporting one another.”
We hope you will join us in celebrating the rich and diverse history of the LGBTQ+ community, both at home in New York and around the globe. Throughout June, and all month long, we encourage you to learn more about LGBTQ+ history and history-makers, as well as the ongoing fight for equality, by checking out the resources below, which include events, exhibitions, lesson plans, recommended reading, and more, for use both in and out of the classroom.
The New York City Department of Education supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) students, families, and staff across the five boroughs through a variety of policies and programs. For more information, please see our LGBTQ+ Supports page, which also has more information about the Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship for graduating NYC seniors, as well as our Community-Based LGBTQ+ Organizations page. If you have LGBTQ+-related questions or need LGBTQ+ support at your school, contact LGBTQ@schools.nyc.gov.
Events , Exhibitions, and Places to Visit
- The NYC Pride Parade is Sunday, June 25, 2023! For more information, and for additional events hosted by NYC Pride throughout the month, check out their events calendar. The main parade takes place in Manhattan, but there are celebrations in every borough: check out The Bronx Pride Festival, Brooklyn Pride, New Queens Pride, and Staten Island PrideFest for more information about when and where you can celebrate close to home.
- The New York Public Library is celebrating Pride Month throughout June. Check their site for family-friendly events, including film screenings, arts & crafts sessions, book clubs, and more, happening at a branch near you, all month long.
- The City has been home to many LGBTQ+ pioneers, and you can visit places across all five boroughs where those history-makers lived, worked, and are honored today, like Christopher Street Park across from the Stonewall Inn, the Alice Austen House in Staten Island, or the public murals painted by the artist Keith Haring, among many others. For more information, check out the NYC Parks website. For events taking place throughout June at NYC Parks, see the NYC Parks Pride Month calendar.
- The Village Preservation Society has created the Civil Rights and Social Justice Map as a guide to LGBTQ+ history in Greenwich Village and the surrounding areas that shows where these sites are located, and provides more information about why each of them are significant to the movement. For even more sites across all five boroughs, check out the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, which has indexed over 400 locations, in addition to the National Park Service’s NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project Walking Tour.
Throughout the month, and all year long, we encourage families, educators, and students to dive into a book about LGBTQ+ history and experiences. The suggestions below are just a few of our favorite titles, with works of fiction and non-fiction for every grade level that feature characters and perspectives that are often not reflected in other popular works. We hope you will enjoy reading and learning from these outstanding stories.
Early Readers (Grades 3K–2)
- And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell; illustrated by Henry Cole
- Cinderelliot: A Scrumptious Fairytale, by Mark Ceilley and Rachel Smoka-Richardson; illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
- Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring, by Matthew Burgess; illustrated by Josh Cochran
- If You’re a Kid Like Gavin: The True Story of a Young Trans Activist, by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff; illustrated by J Yang
- Julián is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love
- Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders, by Sarah Prager; illustrated by Cheryl “Ras” Thuesday
- Miss Rita, Mystery Reader, by Sam Donovan and Kristen Wixted; illustrated by Violet Tobacco
- The Mother of a Movement: Jeanne Manford – Ally, Activist, and Co-Founder of PFLAG, by Rob Sanders; illustrated by Sam Kalda
- My Rainbow, by Trinity and Deshanna Neal; illustrated by Art Twink
- Phoenix ani’ Gichichi-i’/Phoenix Gets Greater, by Marty Wilson-Trudeau with Phoenix Wilson; illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith
- Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall
- Ritu Weds Chandni, by Ameya Narvankar
- Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag, by Gayle E. Pitman; illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown
- ‘Twas the Night Before Pride, by Joanna McClintick; illustrated by Juana Medina
- Worm Loves Worm, by J.J. Austrian; illustrated by Mike Curato
Elementary (Grades 3–5)
- Answers in the Pages, by David Levithan
- Better Nate than Ever, by Tim Federle
- Frankie & Bug, by Gayle Forman
- The Golden Hour, by Niki Smith
- Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, by Ashley Herring Blake
- Kapaemahu, by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson; illustrated by Daniel Sousa
- The List of Things That Will Not Change, by Rebecca Stead
- The One Who Loved You the Most, by medina
- Rabbit Chase, by Elizabeth LaPensée; illustrated by K.C. Oster
- Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, by Rob Sanders; illustrated by Jamey Christoph
- The Street Belongs to Us, by Karleen Pendleton Jiménez; illustrated by Gabriella Godoy
- This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us, edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby
- Too Bright to See, by Kyle Lukoff
- When We Love Someone, We Sing to Them: Cuando Amamos Cantamos, by Ernesto Javier Martínez; illustrated by Maya Christina González
- The Witch Boy, by Molly Knox Ostertag
Middle Grade (Grades 6–8)
- Alice Austen Lived Here, by Alex Gino
- Almost Flying, by Jake Maia Arlow
- Different Kinds of Fruit, by Kyle Lukoff
- Every Bird a Prince, by Jenn Reese
- In the Key of Us, by Mariama J. Lockington
- In the Role of Brie Hutchens, by Nicole Melleby
- Nikhil Out Loud, by Maulik Pancholy
- One Life: Young Readers Edition, by Megan Rapinoe
- The Pants Project, by Cat Clarke
- A Queer History of the United States for Young People, by Michael Bronski; adapted by Richie Chevat
- Queer, There, and Everywhere: 27 People Who Changed the World, by Sarah Prager; illustrated by Zöe More O’Ferrall
- The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ+ Rights, by Archie Bongiovanni; illustrated by A. Andrews
- To Night Owl, from Dogfish, by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
- Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington, by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long
- You Only Live Once, David Bravo, by Mark Oshiro
Young Adult (Grades 9–12)
- All Boys Aren’t Blue, by George M. Johnson
- All Out: The No Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages, edited by Saundra Mitchell
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
- The Black Flamingo, by Dean Atta
- Branded by the Pink Triangle, by Ken Setterington
- Camp, by L.C. Rosen
- Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender
- Lakelore, by Anna-Marie McLemore
- Like a Love Story, by Abdi Nazemian
- Our Gay History in Fifty States, by Zaylore Stout
- The Reckless Kind, by Carly Heath
- A Scatter of Light, by Malinda Lo
- Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke, The First Openly Gay MLB Player and Inventor of the High Five, by Andrew Maraniss
- Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights, by Ann Bausum
- When the Angel Left the Old Country, by Sacha Lam
Many of these books are readily available through the Citywide Digital Library on Sora, which provides free access to hundreds of digital e-books and audiobooks for our students, including those in the Come as You Are LGBTQ Collection, which features a range of contemporary and historical titles concerning LGBTQ+ topics, characters, and events, including fiction and non-fiction works. For even more great titles, check out Pride at NYPL, which includes LGBTQ+-centered book lists for all ages recommended by the New York Public Library.
Video and Audio Resources
- The ACT UP Oral History Project is an archive of 187 interviews with members of ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York. Founded in March of 1987, ACT UP is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals, united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. Its determined advocacy and highly focused demonstrations supported by innovative graphics utterly changed the world’s perception of people with AIDS and queer people.
- The NYC Trans Oral History Project is a community archive devoted to the collection, preservation and sharing of trans histories, organized in collaboration with the New York Public Library. The archive documents transgender resistance and resilience in New York City.
- The Village Preservation Society has a collection of LGBTQ+ Oral Histories that include some of the great artists, activists, business owners, community leaders, and preservation pioneers of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo, which capture their first-person perspective on the important histories they witnessed or of which they were a part.
- Learn about the largely hidden history of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement directly from the voices of the people who lived it in the Making Gay History Podcast series.
- QueerSpace is a podcast series created by the National Air and Space Museum that features stories and people at the intersection of aviation, space, and LGBTQ+ culture.
Resources for Educators
- The Hidden Voices initiative, which began as a collaboration between the DOE and the Museum of the City of New York, helps NYC students learn about and honor the innumerable people, often “hidden” from the traditional historical record, who have shaped and continue to share our history and identity. Lesson plans in Hidden Voices: LGBTQ+ Stories in United States History features profiles of LGBTQ+ individuals throughout different eras in U.S. history.
- In conjunction with those lesson plans, "Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity" is a collection of videos available through WNET for grades 6–12 that are aligned with the DOE’s Hidden Voices curriculum, and provide additional information on the individuals and events that are spotlighted in the lesson plans. Their toolkit also has additional resources that tell the stories of even more LGBTQ+ pioneers.
- In collaboration with Good Trouble Comics, we created the Recognized comics, an LGBTQ+ graphic history available on WeTeach about important figures from New York who played pivotal roles in LGBTQ+ history. Volume 1 tells the stories of Alain Locke and Sylvia Rivera, and Volume 2 focuses on Bayard Rustin and Larry Kramer.
- Also available on WeTeach, “Yes! But How? LGBTQ+ Inclusion for Educators” is a collaborative project between our Office of Safety and Youth Development and the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Learning that aims to help K–12 teachers and administrators support the development of LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming school environments that was written by LGBTQ+ author and curator Hugh Ryan.
- The History UnErased Curriculum, available to NYC educators, was created to put LGBTQ+ History in the classroom. It aims to ensure that all students learn a more complete story of America and a more accurate reflection of who “We the people” includes, while promoting a genuine understanding and equality for all LGBTQ+ people.
- The New-York Historical Society’s “Women and the American Story” curricular resources include profiles of significant and often overlooked women throughout U.S. history, including LGBTQ+ advocates and history-makers like Billie Jean King, Marsha P. Johnson, and Antonia Pantoja, among others.
- Celebrate Pride Month with digital resources from the Smithsonian that come from many of their museums, including the American Women’s History Museum, National Air and Space Museum, the American Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, and more.
- The National Educator’s Association has a number of helpful resources available for teachers, including their LGBTQ+ Resource Page that was designed to provide educators with the information and tools they would need to support LGBTQ+ students, to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ history in their classrooms, and to stop LGBTQ+ bias and intolerance in public schools.
- Facing History and Ourselves also has a comprehensive list of resources that aim to help educators ensure that LGBTQ+ histories and experiences are centered throughout the year.
- Several relevant lesson plans for middle and high school classrooms are available online through the Museum of the City of New York, including:
- Students can learn more about the history of Pride Month with primary sources, documentary footage, and more from the Library of Congress.
- Many resources are also available on Newslea, including:
- The National Endowment for the Humanities has put together a “Virtual Bookshelf” with NEH-funded resources and projects related to LGBTQ+ history.
- The Zinn Education Project has a number of educator resources available on their website, including classroom activities, book lists, recommended films, and more.