A Not So Cheerful Pride | History

By Stage and Cinema DVD Review: STONEWALL UPRISING (PBS) Photographer: Joseph Ambrosini of the New York Daily News. Photo via wikipedia.org.
By Stage and Cinema DVD Review: STONEWALL UPRISING (PBS) Photographer: Joseph Ambrosini of the New York Daily News. Photo via wikipedia.org.

This month we celebrate Stonewall once again, the historic riots that gave birth in June 1968  to Gay Pride. The spark was lit by tired and rebellious drag queens. Today, Drag Queens are under fire once more thanks to the efforts initiated by our own HIT (Hitler in Training) Ron DeSantis.  



Sadly we might need a second Stonewall. 

On that eventful night drag performers were  on the front lines during one of the most seminal events in LGBTQ history: the Stonewall Uprising. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, a routine raid on a New York City gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, became the spark that ignited the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The bar itself was made a national monument in 2016 by President Barack. 

In those days, police raids on gay bars were commonplace. Police would routinely go in and harass the patrons. What was different about this one was that the patrons  fought back against the police who would literally make the drag queens  wash their faces off in the mop buckets, alas, that night they stood up and said: "Enough is enough.” 

There aren't many photos or newspaper articles  written in the immediate aftermath of the uprising, which lasted several days, one appeared in the New York Daily News under the headline, “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad.” While loaded with slurs and pejoratives, the article drew attention to the drag performers and gender-nonconforming people involved in the uprising. 

After decades of gains and wider acceptance our LGBTQ community has again become a lighting rod for the far right, republican politicians looking for votes, homophobes, KKK, white trash etc.  

They think we are easy prey. 

To them I say "think again and learn from history.” 

The fight must resume as long as those who  govern us do not fully respect and protect the “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family” – as the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights eloquently pronounces – regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. 

Fifty five years ago, fed up of running away from the authorities – transgender people, bisexuals, lesbians, gay men, runaway youths – stood up against oppression.  

They have inspired generations of activists and jurists around the world, who have worked tirelessly to overcome legal obstructions to equality. Much of the progress we have seen is owed to their courage. While we share both joy and tears this Pride Month, we must continue to carry the spirit of Stonewall forward. We must not let the lights go out. 

On a daily basis, we are stunned with boiling anger at the news stories that flash across our phones and TVs as states continue passing laws that affect people’s lives and threaten children’s health.  

We don't recognize or understand our own country anymore. Some of the most recent threats are coming, of course, from Florida, which recently passed four anti-LGBTQ laws including laws that will make trans youth even more vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and abuse. These efforts are backed by national organizations that are extremely well funded and have extensive resources.   

As Lambda Legal so clearly stated. 

"We need strong supporters like you. We need to show our unstoppable pride, our unyielding commitment to progress, and our determination that those who peddle hate and bigotry will not succeed in turning back the clock on progress or undermine the fundamental civil and human rights that we have fought so hard to achieve." 

Get involved. Please go and support them. Get involved, our future is at stake. 


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Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

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