The month of June marks the celebration of Pride, where we honor the accomplishments of the LGBTQIA community. Given our health pandemic and the actions of police, both in NYC and across the country, I’ve personally struggled with just how to honor those accomplishments while being responsive to our community.
There are so many parallels to the current movement we’re seeing and that of Pride's original roots. Pride was born out of the Stonewall Riots - when police raided the Stonewall Inn and other nearby gay and lesbian clubs in June 1968. When the police became violent, the LGBTQIA community, led by many Black and Brown leaders like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major galvanized and rioted for their community. It was a pivotal moment that sparked the movement for queer rights that took decades. Yet today, we are still battling a system designed to marginalize, and systemically exclude BIPOC voices. Even then, Marsha and Sylvia were excluded from this history. Today, we see communities across the country marching to have their voices heard. We are again at a pivotal moment - this time, BIPOC voices are leading the charge and it’s up to our elected leaders to hear the call.
As a Latinx queer person of color, understanding this intersectional history has brought so much clarity of purpose and solidified why we need real leadership at all levels of our government.
Happy Pride to you and your families.
"Progress" Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar