Although Pride Month looks a bit different this year, June 1 still marked the beginning of the month that reflects and celebrates the progress of LGBTQ+ rights. However, with the ongoing protests against racial discrimination in the U.S., we feel it’s important to acknowledge the fact that Pride wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the black LGBTQ+ activists.
History remembers that the protests for LGBTQ+ rights began after police raided a gay club in Greenwich Village called The Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, and thus the Stonewall riots began.
However, what many people often forget is that black LGBTQ+ people were heavily involved in the Stonewall riots, and one of the most important figures in the movement was black LGBT activist Marsha P. Johnson, along with Latina queer activist Sylvia Rivera, who founded the advocacy group S.T.A.R. (Street Tranvestite Action Revolutionaries). The group fought for the rights of young LGBTQ+ adults, as well as homeless trans youth.
Both Marsha and Sylvia identified themselves as drag queens, and they’re just a few of the many, many more queer black activists that participated in the Stonewall riots.
Pride would not be possible without these people, and this year’s Pride Month should be dedicated to these people!
Storme DeLarverie is another very important black LGBTQ+ activist, who is believed to be the one who threw the very first punch in the Stonewall riots.
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said that none of the progress made for the equality and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people over the past 51 years would be possible if not for the courage, action, and determination of these protestors.
This Pride Month, we’ll be centering and lifting up the voices of Black LGBTQ people. There can be no Pride if it is not intersectional. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/kw9OPS5GsW pic.twitter.com/zpJn9crlTL
— GLAAD (@glaad) June 1, 2020