The Stonewall riots against police brutality in 1969 were largely led by queer people of color, namely Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The activism from members of the Black and transgender community has had a lasting impact on the gay rights movement and demonstrates that the celebration of Pride, at its core, has been a movement rooted in intersectionality since its inception.
Communities around the world have continued to fill the streets, demanding justice for LGBTQIA+ rights. With anti-transgender and ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills being passed in American cities, it is not an option to be complacent. We must raise our voices in support and remember those who stood before us – Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, to name a few – who were fierce advocates for the same equal rights and justice that we march for today.
The link between the Black Lives Matter and the Pride movements are interwoven; the cause of liberation is still being fought. Until oppression, police brutality, community violence and discrimination are eliminated, Pride will continue to be about holding up the value and dignity of LGBTQIA+ lives through activism.
To those in our LGBTQIA+ community, both on the Northside and beyond, we see you and we stand with you this month and every day. Happy Pride!