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Pride Month: Behind the Rainbow Flag

Merry Christmas and a very happy Pride month to all of our wonderful customers! At The Olde Christmas Shoppe we try to cultivate an inclusive and joyful environment for all, and so we would like to spend Pride 2022 taking a look behind the iconic rainbow flag to explore the roots of the powerful 20th century LGBT rights movement as it grew through the years. Join us on a journey from Stonewall to the first Pride parades and road to marriage equality here in Scotland as we celebrate this Pride month together!

Pride was a Protest

Pride activist Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson. Netflix, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

The modern Pride movement began in 1969 Greenwich Village, New York in early hours of June 28th, with a violent police raid on the gay-and-lesbian club the Stonewall Inn – a much-loved refuge for the community at the time, which also welcomed drag queens and transgender people who often would be shunned from other gay-friendly bars in the city. After years of police harassment, this attack would be the one to spark resistance in patrons and local residents as a long six days of protests and clashes with law enforcement followed. With notable members of the LGBTQ+ community joining the uprising, such as legendary drag queens and transgender activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, these protests marked a major turning point for the gay rights movement in the US and across the world.

Pride Month Flag
Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

One year later, the LGBTQ+ communities marked the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots by holding the very first Gay Pride marches in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco; a nationwide protest with LGBT people and allies marching down the main streets of their cities, which would then evolve into the worldwide combination of protest and celebration of progress we see today! Of course, it wasn’t until 1978 that openly gay artist Gilbert Baker created the original Pride flag in the eight iconic rainbow colours, each with their own meanings: the flag’s colours symbolised sex, life, healing, sunlight, nature, heart, harmony, and spirit.

Check out our gallery at the end for some rainbow Pride inspiration from us!

Pride in Scotland

The call to action from the US spread across the world and of course to our wee island, with a number of small Pride marches occurring in Scotland throughout the 80s and 90s before Edinburgh’s first major and official ‘Pride’ event on June 17th 1995. In the 27 years since, Scotland has celebrated a number of key milestones in the journey towards equality. From same-sex equality in adoption and fostering and legal marriage for same-sex couples in 2007 and 2014 respectively, progress has been made for LGBTQ+ people in our country; now, Pride is just as important as ever in educating people about LGBTQ+ issues and pushing forward for equality in all aspects of life, to make sure that these hard-earned rights are protected and enjoyed by all.

To get involved with Pride this year, or for any further information or assistance within the community, please check out the links below to some of our favourite LGBTQ+ charities and organisations!

  • Equality Network – Leading charity striving for LGBTQ+ equality in Scotland
  • Stonewall Scotland – Scottish chapter of Stonewall, named for the Stonewall Inn and campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights globally.
  • LGBT Youth Scotland – Provides safe services and support for LGBT youth in Scotland.
  • LGBT Health & Wellbeing – Promotes the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ adults in Scotland.
    • LGBT Helpline Scotland found at or 0300 123 2523
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