To kick off Pride Month, we are holding our annual 'Pride Party'! We invite you to join us on Tuesday 4th June at the Granton campus - in the Hub - at 2:30pm to enjoy some music and celebrate our amazing LGBTQ+ student community at Edinburgh College! There will be some freebies to take with you to your other pride events, t-shirt and tote bag decorating, pronoun necklace and bracelet making and drinks and snacks. But most of all - it will be a great chance to celebrate, socialize and have some fun! (We encourage you to come along even if you are not a student at Granton Campus, we would love to see students from all campuses!)

But until then, here's a wee article to remind ourselves of the reason why we can be so loud and proud!

Where it all began...

All of us enjoy the colourful celebrations that we currently know as Pride. However, what we often forget is the history, struggles and the six days of protests, chaos and disagreements with law enforcement that happened outside the Stonewall Inn on the 28th June 1969 in New York City.

So as we come up to celebrate individuality and being out, loud and proud, here is a little history lesson and reminder of how we are here today. The Stonewall Riots also known as the Stonewall Uprising began on the 28th June 1969, when New York City Police raided a pub and sparked an uprising with pub-goers and locals. These protests and riots would proceed to go on for six days.

Prior to the Stonewall riots, the 1960s was not the most welcoming time for people part of the LGBTQ+ community. Gatherings of homosexual people were often considered 'disorderly' and not welcomed, and in the early morning that the Stonewall Inn was raided, the people had finally had enough. After multiple arrests and police brutality, Storme DeLarverie, a butch, mixed-race lesbian called out after being assaulted and shoved into the back of a police car - “Aren’t you going to do something?” This was the moment that everything shifted.

Now I’m sure we have all heard the stories of who threw the first brick at Stonewall, but the reality is, no one actually knows, and we don’t even know if there was an actual brick, but the symbolism that brick represents and the power of the story that follows it has often been a shining light in dark times for many people. In a way, that brick and question represents us all. The power we have to stand up. A violent burst of anger after years of oppression. A loud bang and crash of pride and standing up for what you believe.

And on the 28th June 1970, exactly one year after the riot had started, the first ever Pride was held, and we entered the 70s with a new level of hope.

Now, we're not saying we have everything figured out, and LGBTQ+ rights still have a way to go. But as we come up to the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, it’s important to remember the generations before us who weren’t even allowed to drink in a pub.

So this Pride, as you’re walking up the mile and through the capital of Scotland, remember to cheer a little bit louder for those who have come before. Remember to cheer for the brick that started it all. But most importantly, remember to cheer for yourself.