The Betterment Project

Equality For All: How LGBTQ Rights Are Connected To Black Lives Matter.

It’s a big month for change. 

As the fight against racial injustice, police brutality, and the marginalization of minorities gathers momentum, the LGBTQ community is focusing its Pride Month programming on elevating black voices.

Looking back, it’s clear that there are similarities between both movements, in particular, one seminal moment that took place over 50 years ago. 

What is Pride Month? 

Pride month is about showing up for marginalized LGBTQ groups, raising awareness about current issues facing the community, and demanding action. 

Why June?  

Because that’s when the Stonewall Riots took place in New York, way back in 1969, which many see as the catalyst for the LGBTQ civil rights movement in the United States.

What are the Stonewall Riots? 

The riots were ignited after a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn, a popular LGBTQ bar in the West Village. Over several days and nights, the LGBTQ community held protests against the raid and called for the establishment of places that the LGBTQ community could go without fear of being arrested or assaulted. 

What has happened since then?

Thanks to the pioneering individuals who fought back, including many people of color (namely Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Stormé DeLarverie), the LGBTQ community has made significant strides since then.

1978 - Harvey Milk became the first LGBTQ elected official in San Francisco  

1982 - Wisconsin became the first U.S. state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

2015 - The Supreme Court made the long-awaited decision to recognize marriage equality as a national right.

So what now? 

While the marriage equality decision is groundbreaking, it’s not the end of the journey for LGBTQ equality. There’s more work to be done to ensure safety and equality for everyone, regardless of who they are or whom they love.

The LGBTQ community still face discrimination in housing, health care and employment. A staggering Thirty-one states have no laws protecting the community from discrimination. 

And the statistics around violence based on gender identity or sexual orientation are sobering. 

Go beyond the US and being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered is illegal in 79 countries and is punishable by death in at least five.

Why is Stonewall relevant today? 

Besides sharing a history of protest, police brutality, struggle, and a long battle for equality, both movements focus on bringing about change through activism.

Through riots, marches, protests, and collective voices, the LGBTQ community raised awareness and brought about change. Now an entire nation has been galvanized to protest and demand rights for Black Americans.

The current movement for equal rights, safety, and protection of Black people is a fight for all Black people – including those who are gay, lesbian, trans, and gender non-conforming. 

Black members of the LGBTQ community, especially trans women, are disproportionally affected by violence. More than half of trans women face homelessness and sexual assault in their lifetime, with a life expectancy of just 35 years. 

So what can we do?


Equality Act

Human Rights Campaign’s 

Center For Black Equality

Trevor Project

Gill Foundation

It Gets Better

The Okra Project

African Rainbow Family


The New Queer Conscience by Adam Eli

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon

The Beginning of Stonewall

Stonewall at 50: How the Iconic LGBTQ Institution Keeps the Spirit of ‘69 Alive Today

We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories From Red States

The Stonewall Reader

Hidden from History

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous


Paris Is Burning

Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community

How to Survive a Plague

Circus of Books

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson



Strike a Pose

Elisa & Marcela

Show up


14th June: All Black Lives Matter @ Hollywood Blvd. & N Highland. 


14th June: An Action for Black Trans Lives @ Brooklyn Museum. 1 pm.

26th June: NYC Pride will host a virtual rally to stand against police brutality and discrimination


27-28th June: San Francisco Pride Is Virtual

For more protests visit 














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