WHS Celebrates Pride Month

June is the month when LGBTQI+ Pride is celebrated around the world and Wick High is looking forward to hosting some exciting events to celebrate, but what actually is the point in Pride? Where did Pride Month originate from?

The reason that Pride Month falls in June is because an incredibly important moment in queer history took place on June 28th 1969: The Stonewall Uprising in NYC. Have you ever heard of this event? It’s the reason why the popular slogan: ‘Pride is a protest!’ exists.

The Stonewall Inn was one of the most popular gay bars in New York City; however, at this time in the 1960s the police would regularly raid and harrass queer establishments. In the early hours of June 28th the queer community had finally had enough and fought back against the harrassment. This involved a protest that lasted several days and began what’s now known as the gay liberation movement. This was the beginning of change in LGBTQI+ rights in the USA and its effects rippled into other countries, too.

One year later, on the anniversary of The Stonewall Uprising, the first ever Pride parade was held. It involved a march from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park. The following year, other cities around the States – and the world – began holding their own Pride marches.

Today, Pride is a global event and in normal times Scotland would have celebratory Pride parades across the country – even in Orkney! Of course, due to the pandemic things are a bit different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the powerful progress of LGBTQI+ awareness, rights, and visibility.

A Pride display outside Miss Ker’s room.

Pride can also serve as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done to ensure our communities are as inclusive as possible. Increasing awareness and support for the trans- and non-binary communities is an example of inclusivity that could be improved in our very own Caithness.

In school, our LGBTQI+ Group will be virtually hosting a variety of guests: JD Stewart, an incredible Scottish playwright who hosts a historical podcast about the gay liberation movement in the UK; Liam and Jordan from the TIE Campaign who visited the school last year to teach us about the importance of inclusive language; Amy Watt, Engagement Producer at Inverness’ Eden Court; and a few other exciting surprises.

If you have any queries about Pride or anything LGBTQI+ pop-in to Miss Ker’s English classroom to find out more.