LGBT Pride Month, observed in June, is celebrated around the U.S. with parades and activism events. At the same time, many people do not know Pride Month's origin, which honors the 1969 Stonewall riots--a demonstration which blazed the trail for activists across the country.
In 1970, the first Gay Pride marches took place in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. There has been a lot of progress since then, but LGBT advocates are still working toward a future without discrimination in the workplace and beyond.
Here are some powerful quotes from changemakers who are have contributed to the movement for LGBT equality:
- "Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it's a good place to start."--Jason Collins, first openly gay athlete in U.S. pro sports
- "When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."--Barack Obama
- "The only queer people are those who don't love anybody."--Rita Mae Brown
- "This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another."--Ellen Page
- "Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"--Author Ernest J. Gaines
- "I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole."--Morgan Freeman
- "I believe that no one should ever have to choose between a career we love and living our lives with authenticity and integrity"--Out & Equal Executive Director Selisse Berry
- "It takes some intelligence and insight to figure out you're gay and then a tremendous amount of balls to live it and live it proudly."--Jason Bateman
- "Every gay and lesbian person who has been lucky enough to survive the turmoil of growing up is a survivor. Survivors always have an obligation to those who will face the same challenges."--Writer/actor Bob Paris
- "All of us who are openly gay are living and writing the history of our movement. We are no more - and no less - heroic than the suffragists and abolitionists of the 19th century; and the labor organizers, Freedom Riders, Stonewall demonstrators, and environmentalists of the 20th century. We are ordinary people, living our lives, and trying as civil-rights activist Dorothy Cotton said, to 'fix what ain't right' in our society."--Senator Tammy Baldwin
- "I'm living by example by continuing on with my career and having a full, rich life, and I am incidentally gay."--Portia DeRossi
- "I think being gay is a blessing, and it's something I am thankful for every single day."--Anderson Cooper
- "Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."--Harvey Fierstein
- "The beauty of standing up for your rights is others see you standing and stand up as well."--Advice columnist Cassandra Duffy
- "I've been embraced by a new community. That's what happens when youre finally honest about who you are; you find others like you."--Chaz Bono
- "Somebody, your father or mine, should have told us that not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished, and are perishing every hour--and in the oddest places!--for the lack of it."--Author James Baldwin
- "We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity."--George Takei
Do you have a favorite quote that's not on this list?