Jun 7, 2021
Each June, we celebrate the Pride Month to mark the anniversary of New York’s Stonewall Riots. The seminal moment and turning point in LGBTQ+ history came on June 28, 1969, when New York police, after an ongoing campaign of harassment against the LGBTQ+ community, raided the Stonewall Inn gay bar, sparking street protests in the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood, which were led primarily by trans folks and people of color.
In that moment, LGBTQ+ communities came together to resist the barrage of intimidation and abuse and forged a lasting bond that has birthed LGBTQ+ Pride movements in cities, regions, and countries across the globe. Since Stonewall, LGBTQ+ communities have endured many attacks and challenges stacked against them. The AIDS crisis, which greatly impacted the community, was met with governmental and societal ambivalence and indifference, contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of individuals. The killings of our LGBTQ+ leaders, such as Harvey Milk and others; the Pulse nightclub shooting; the daily macro- and micro-aggressions; gruesome violence against transgender individuals across the country; and the restrictive legislation from politicians, who continue to advocate openly against the rights of LGBTQ+ people – all demonstrate that we must remain vigilant in our work. We must continue to resist and fight any and all undeserved threats against LGBTQ+ communities, which seek not only to deprive us of our rights as citizens but also to deny the recognition of our full humanity. Pride is not only about pushing back, but also standing up for the rights that the Constitution affords us and fighting for the ones we are still denied that are clearly granted to others in the society.
And although most of our communities in the U.S. remain strong, there are still LGBTQ+ people in our nation and across the globe who are in great and immediate need. This June’s Pride, we are faced with an ongoing devastating pandemic, which has muted observances and have forced us all to reconsider how we do community. LGBTQ+ people have always been resilient people, and we will continue to rise in the face of challenges.
We must continue to resist and fight any and all undeserved threats against LGBTQ+ communities, which seek not only to deprive us of our rights as citizens but also to deny the recognition of our full humanity.