The struggles and achievements of Pride Month told from the perspective of Spectrum staff and students


Tony Webster

Rainbow Flag at the Twin Cities Pride Parade in Minneapolis.

I’m not afraid to be myself.

— Anonymous

June first marks the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride month. The month of June has been recognized as Pride month in the United States since 2009. During the month of June, members of the community remember and celebrate their losses and successes. Pride month holds a special meaning to many people throughout the country, including Spectrum students and staff.

“It’s the time where I can feel most of myself and not be judged by others,” one student says. “I’m not afraid to be myself.”

Another student, Eve Compton, explains pride month as a time to be open about who she is. She takes it as a time to not have to worry about the consequences of being who she is.

Celebrating is an important part of Pride month. During the month of June, many people celebrate in unique ways.

Katie Aase, an ASL and College and Career teacher at Spectrum, attends the Pride event in Minneapolis at the end of June. Jacob Neid, a gay student, celebrates by wearing items with rainbows on them.

I got some fake nails that have rainbows on them that I’m going to wear,” said Emma Cerezo, a bisexual student.

Emma Cerezo’s rainbow nails for Pride month. (Emma Cerezo)

The month of June is also a time to reflect and acknowledge the struggles of many LGBTQ+ community members. Some combat the negativity by ignoring it, while others tend to push back against it.

“There’s a lot of people that, like, make fun of me or whatever,” said Sophie Jones, a bisexual student. “I just ignore it”

“I make my voice be heard,” said Neid. “I make my points.”

Learning about LGBTQ+ struggles is an important thing that people should take part in, as said by Eve Compton.

“If you cant see the struggles from other sides of things, you can’t learn from it,” said Compton. 

The long history behind the month of June is recognized alongside the celebrations as well. Many events had led up to what is now called Pride month, most of which rose from oppression. Ann Hewitt, a Spectrum history teacher, is well versed in the subject.

“The Stonewall Riots happened in New York City when the police attacked bars and other establishments,” said Hewitt.

The 1969 Stonewall Riots were a crucial event that led to what is now Pride month. After the bar had been raided and people were roughly arrested, protests occurred for six days (

Even further back before the 60’s, discrimination among members of the LGBTQ+ community was taking place.

“The Lavender Scare was when people were fishing out Communists,” said Compton. “They thought pieces of the Communist Manifesto were queer people coming in and infiltrating their children.”

The Lavender Scare was a similar period in time to the Red Scare, where people were suspected of being Communists and fired from their jobs. “Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Executive Order 10450, the investigation, interrogation and systematic removal of gay men and lesbians from the federal government became policy” (Haynes).

LGBTQ+ people have been around the world for a long time, which is something many people feel should be acknowledged and taught.

Aase’s Progress Pride flag desk magnet. (Ruby Curtis)

“I feel like it’s something that’s really shied away and covered up,” said Cerezo. “It’s like ‘oh this is something really recent’ like this has been going on forever.”

“People from the LGBTQ+ community have been part of American history, of world history, always,” said Aase.

With the growing acknowledgement of Pride month and the struggles endured, more and more people are beginning to feel comfortable about who they are as people.




Haynes, Suyin. “History You Didn’t Learn About the Anti-Gay Lavender Scare | Time.” TIME, 22 December 2020, 

“Stonewall Riots.” 1969 Stonewall Riots – Origins, Timeline & Leaders, 31 May 2017,