Judy Garland’s death is often attributed as one of the underlying reasons that tipped the scale of an emotional day, inspiring the patrons of the Stonewall Inn to take action against injustice.
She died June 22, 1969 and was buried June 27th, the morning before the riots began.
Come out, come out whoever you are
WORLD PRIDE 2019 is nearly upon us, time to celebrate our differences and reflect on the strides in equality that have been made.
As the modern community of people we are that don’t fit in to the mainstream, we take time to reflect and to celebrate our courageous queer communities all across this great planet; knowing that our struggles are far from over and have only just begun in the age of gender nonconformity and living your truth.
This June 28th marks the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, when our queer elders stood up for themselves and began to move history forward and set forth actions that would lead to what then was probably unimaginable. While most think of this day as the beginning of everything for the LGBTQ rights movement, in truth there are hundreds if not thousands of unsung heros that were fighting the same fight in many other parts of the world.
The majority will probably never get the recognition they deserve. It’s to them and everyone who has stood up for themselves or others in the face of adversity, (be it for race, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, religious belief, or any other part of you that is your identity) I commend and thank you.
50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ community against a discriminatory police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The riots lasted five nights and served as a galvanizing moment for the LGBTQ activist community to unite in a nationwide movement fighting for LGBTQ rights. The following year of action culminated on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, an organized march considered to be the first Pride. The Stonewall Riots were commemorated with the designation of Stonewall National Monument in 2016, the first National Monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights and history.1
I hope that at Stonewall 100 or Stonewall 75 that homosexuality and gender identity and gender expression are normalized. Our goal is to say we want every single person globally to know what happened here in 1969, and to have that story of Stonewall be told either through the people that were there or us as the innkeepers of that history to make sure everyone understands so we don’t repeat the past and so we can just move forward.4
— Stacy Lentz, LGBT Activist and co-owner of the Stonewall Inn
Here we are in 2019, joyous to continue this courageous legacy and to be gay or queer or however you identify yourself.
Our duty is to continue the fight for justice and stand up for equality in our communitites. Part of that duty is to educate as we pass the baton. I’m sure it will become easy to lose sight for the younger generations who didn’t have to live through such adversity. Who grew up watching Will & Grace or other such pop culture proponents to our cause. Who probably knew what “gay” was before they felt it within themselves. Before it held any negative connotations or shame.
I somewhat envy the millennials and younger generations. As a member of this community, I only hope I can be a source of knowledge and support for those that need it. I’m usually most always willing to share my own stories and to listen to those that need a friend or a “safe space” they can go.
To the queer youth of today,
Please, be respectful of the gifts you’ve been given and try not to take advantage of them. We live in a time in our history that you can be whoever you want to be more so than ever before. We have more freedom and power and people willing to fight for and with you.
Today is not filled with the fears of yesterday, to live in a time when we don’t have to be afraid to touch or even be in the same space as a (quote-unquote) “homo,” for fear of catching the “gay plague.”
Now, we have the option to take ONE pill a day that protects from HIV, so you don’t have to fear dying before your thirtieth… twenty-fifth… or whichever birthday. Just because you get a little horny from time to time and think too much in the wrong head. There’s so much more that your elders didn’t have so don’t take any of this progress for granted.
While I am still young,
I am blessed to live through less adversity, but not in total harmony or shelter from hate. I have experienced discrimination and mockery. Been laughed at on the bus, pointed at and snickered about for being different. Had things thrown at me, my life threatened, slurs like “faggot” and worse yelled at me, things that only a closed narrow mind would decide to spew out instead of just not saying anything.
For those people, I wish them no harm or hate in return. I wish them love and hope they find a way to let go of whatever that pain is they are holding onto. Because I only see people that are hurt, scared, uneducated or maybe all three. What I hear, is them shouting their intolerance and inability to connect normally.
We are all human and we’re all together on this planet called, ‘Earth.’
None of us are getting out of this thing alive, so let’s just be kind to one another and to our planet.
Now let’s have a good time while we’re here. Choose understanding and compassion.
IDAHO IS PROUD
As “Gay Christmas” approaches, pride swells within and I don’t think I'm alone in that feeling here in Boise, Idaho.
As a gay person that did not grow up in Boise, or the state of Idaho for that matter, I think that my experience was probably somewhat different than those that did. I’m curious to hear from those that did grow up here, to hear stories and experiences, and hear how you think times have changed (or not). Also, where you see room for improvement, where you think more attention needs to be paid, and to know what you as community members are doing to help out and make a difference. Please feel free to leave me comments below, I’d love to hear from anyone that might read this. Thanks!
Idaho State Capitol Pride Lighting won’t happen this year without your help. Click below to sign the petition to get the lights turned back on this year.
…plans to light the Idaho State Capitol building in rainbow colors are being blocked by local government officials. The Department of Administration refused our request after three years of cooperation, quoting “attempts to keep Idaho’s Statehouse a dignified symbol of the state,” an offensive disregard for the impact Pride has for the community.5 read more…
CITATIONS + WEB SOURCES
- Stonewall Forever
- Stonewall’s 50th Anniversary
- WORLD PRIDE/NYC PRIDE Stonewall 50
- Kemp, Sofia. “Stonewall at 50: How the Iconic LGBTQ Institution Keeps the Spirit of ‘69 Alive Today.” Vogue, May 4, 2019. https://www.vogue.com/article/stonewall-inn-50th-anniversary-interview
- Boise Pridefest
- ACLU Idaho
- Idaho Pride Foundation
Photos by Justin W John and friends.