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.
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.
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?
Human Rights Campaign’s
Center For Black Equality
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
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 www.pride.com