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ocean pride

Published: October 2022

While extravagant parties, colorful parades, and uplifting speakers fill the month of June for Pride, October is reserved for LGBTQ History Month, which celebrates the achievements, creations, and performances of queer icons through the years. 

It’s also a time to laud the history of gay rights in the United States, from the legalization of same-sex marriage to workplace inclusivity. 

In Atlantic City, we take a Pride-like approach to LGBTQ+ History Month, featuring theatrical comedies, community fundraisers, and a treasure trove of LGBTQIA+ events that provide plenty of opportunities to celebrate you.

History of The Gay Rights Movement

We can date the beginning of the gay rights movement back to the 1950s, when Harry Hay founded the first national gay rights organization, which was soon followed by the establishment of the first lesbian organization in 1955. 

However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the gay rights movement picked up speed. 

In June of 1969, police raided Stonewall Inn, a gay club in Greenwich Village. The raid sparked a riot outside the bar that transformed into six days of protests and turmoil. 

The Stonewall Riots marked a significant shift in the gay rights movement around the world. A year after the uprising, the first gay marches took place in four U.S. cities:

  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • San Francisco 

With the advent of gay activism with the establishment of the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, Radicalesbians, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), LGBTQIA+ plights became a focal point of activism in the 1970s.

Numerous LGBTQIA+ members secured public office positions, Gilbert Baker stitched the first rainbow flag, and in 1979, 100,000 people attended the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

The outbreak of AIDS in the 1980s, which predominantly affected the LGBTQIA+ community, instigated the founding of AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP). ACT UP, a grassroots advocacy group, sought to end the AIDS pandemic and help those who had contracted the virus through legislative and medical work, advocating for the expedited approval of life-saving drugs and a clean needle exchange program. 

In 2011, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which allowed gay men and women to enter the military as long as they kept their sexuality a secret, was repealed. And in 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States.

Today, LGBTQIA+ groups continue to fight for gay rights across the globe, which includes advocacy for transgender rights and workplace anti-discrimination laws and opposition to religious liberty state laws that allow businesses to deny service to those in the LGBTQIA+ community. 


2022 LGBTQ History Month

LGBTQ History Month was founded by Rodney Wilson, a high school history teacher from Missouri, in 1994. The celebrations aim to educate the public on LGBTQIA+ history and identify role models within the community to spotlight their achievements and contributions.

Each year, 31 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgener icons are selected and celebrated each day of the month of October, with videos, bibliographies, and resources that speak to their accomplishments.

This year, the honorary list of LGBTQ month 2022 icons includes:

  • Hans Christen Anderson – Beloved childrens’ book author known for his magical fantasies, including The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, and A Little Match Girl


  • Masha Gessen – A Russian-American journalist and activist known as Russia's leading LGBTQIA+ rights activist


  • Sue Bird – Former WNBA star, who’s considered to be one of the best players in the history of the league


  • Kate Brown – The governor of Oregon and first openly bisexual person to be elected Secretary of State in 2008


  • James Merrill – Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet who wrote of the occult, love, and loss

LGBTQ History Month at Ocean Casino Resort

At Ocean Casino Resort, we’re celebrating LGBTQ History Month and the triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community through the month of October and November.

Our commemoration begins on October 8th. We’re partnering with Garden State Equality for the 2022 Equality Walk, which is their largest community fundraising event.

This year, the proceeds of the event will go toward the organization’s work to fight rollbacks on LGBTQIA+ rights, particularly in regards to Supreme Court’s threat to reconsider gay rights rulings in June of 2022. 

The 2022 Equality Walk will begin at Ocean Casino Resort and continue along the boardwalk for crisp, seaside views and a morning of reflection, followed by an afterparty event. 

Beginning in November, Anthony J. Wilkinson will star in My Big Gay Italian Funeral at Ovation Hall. The sequel to the Off-Broadway hit, My Big Gay Italian Wedding, comprises a whirlwind of family drama, cheeky shenanigans, and over-the-top performances. 

Dress in your most sparkly attire and sip on pre-show happy hour eats and specialty cocktails before the mischief begins.

A portion of the revenue and sales will be donated to LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups and causes. 

Join Anthony Wilkinson for Ocean Pride Happy Hour! What better way to celebrate than with specialty cocktails at Balcony Bar on Friday, November 11 8PM - 10PM! Toast with Anthony and indulge in his signature cocktail the Aperol Spritz.

Showcase Year-Long Pride At Ocean Casino Resort

LGBTQIA+ history is punctuated by inspiring upheaval, faithful advocacy, and uplifting achievements that deserve a celebration. 

Ocean Casino Resort is the LGBTQIA+ community’s biggest ally.

Stop by any time of the year to relish in celebratory festivities, from the Ocean Pride Drag Showcase to all-inclusive bingo nights. What are you waiting for? Book a room today.


LGBT History Month. LGBT History Month Begins October 1. https://lgbthistorymonth.com/

PBS. Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/stonewall-milestones-american-gay-rights-movement/

History. Gay Rights. https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/history-of-gay-rights

ACT UP. ACT UP Accomplishments and Partial Chronology. https://actupny.com/actions/

The Ocean AC. Ocean Pride Drag Showcase Comes To Nola’s Bar & Lounge April 9th. https://www.theoceanac.com/blog/ocean-pride-drag-showcase-comes-nolas-bar-lounge-april-9th


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