Stonewall Should Be a Part of All of Our Events | LETTER

  • Reader responds to publisher’s column: ‘What is Pride Anymore’

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Let's not retire the name Stonewall but ensure that context and history become a part of what our community does. Too many of us do not have a clue about the historical record, too many of us do not contribute to the survival of our cultural, history, knowledge, educational organizations that protect and preserve our culture and history.

We can have fun and learn, engage, and move our community forward. Over the last two years we were made aware of the importance of state, local, and national organizations that addressed the insanity of political and religious extremists. BUT we did not pay close enough attention to what was missing.

Context is vitally important and that was not generally part of those organizations' basket of information. That left many people scared, uninformed, and in some cases encouraged people to leave Florida, or not come here to start with. Had people been informed, that fear would have been vanquished. The LGBTQ community has a vast amount of strength and history in taking on bullies and winning. We have members in state and federal legislatures, we have governors, Fortune 500 CEOs, top people in every field, and more OUT people than ever in history. We can be married, have children, serve in the military, live anywhere we choose to, and can take our issues to court if need be.

We have to engage, not be afraid. So let us always keep a little bit of Stonewall in everything we do, from pool parties, to parades, and let us put a little fun in our lectures, exhibits, and politics.

We can do both without giving up one for the other...but everyone has to make that effort. Your calling it out was the perfect way to start a conversation in the second half of Pride Month. The points you make are important to the future of our community and to how we see ourselves. If we do not become better informed, we will continue to be at the mercy of others in power. If we do not know our history, we will continue to be bamboozled by those willing to say anything to gain power and elective office.

I hope that OutSFL will make "a little piece of history" a prominent feature in all future editions of your paper, I hope a foundation or group (without a commercial agenda) will sponsor it, and I suggest that twice a month those historic/current issues discussed in OutSFL be discussed at Stonewall's Donuts and Conversation gatherings, taking place on the first and third Saturdays of each month at 1300 E. Sunrise Blvd.at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If we all do our part, if we come together to better our community, we can continue to do the fun things as we include and make the history and culture aspects equally important and fully integrated into our way of life.

Let us start something that can be shared and replicated across Florida. To start, join us as we hold the first ever reenactment of the Stonewall Uprising (a protest for certain) that happened 55 years ago. Let us turn that event on June 29 at the Stonewall Museum into a response to the budget cuts and policies coming out of Tallahassee. We will offer some snacks and you all get to help make history, LGBTQ history, right here in Florida...and tell the world we are here, we are queer, and we aren't going anywhere.

Robert Kesten, Executive Director of Stonewall National Museum, Archives, & Library

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What is Pride Anymore? | Opinion

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