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06/21/21


LO STORY MOON

We invited our editor, Lo Story Moon, to share their thoughts on Pride Month; here are their words.

The first NYC Pride Rally occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, which launched the modern Gay Rights Movement. In the morning of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a local gay bar in Greenwich Village that very much represented the city's underground LGBTQ culture. Following these violent and discriminatory attacks, 500 people gathered for a “Gay Power” demonstration in Washington Square Park a month later. This was followed by a candlelight vigil in Sheridan Square. A year later in 1970, the very first NYC Pride March took place on June 28.

In many ways, we've come so far. But in our recognition of growth, we can also see the ways in which we still have so far to go. Last week in Brooklyn, thousands gathered for the second annual Brooklyn Liberation march. The march originated last year amid the nationwide uprising against police brutality, while also seeking to draw attention to the ongoing crisis of violence against Black trans people. Inspired by a 1917 protest for racial justice, an estimated 15,000 protesters clad in white took to the streets of Brooklyn last summer, which is thought to be the largest protest ever for Black trans lives. While this year’s march continued to center Black trans people, it specifically spotlighted what one speaker referred to as the “genocide” facing trans youth. A press release characterized the march as “an emergency action in response to the more than 100 pieces of legislation that have been filed in over 34 states,” and bills limiting youth access to sports participation and medical care signed into law in at least 7 states, including Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Pride month, like just about anything else in life, is complicated. Holding that complexity can be difficult, but also feels important and worthy of the emotional labor inherent in 'holding both truths.' We can be both proud and happy to celebrate each June while also wishing LGBTQ identities didn't require a special month (a mark that we've had to fight for recognition and that so many still don't believe in our right to exist). I can love the fuck outta rainbows and hate rainbow capitalism. I can love a parade and a picnic and remember that pride is also a protest. I worry that we sometimes feel that we have to choose between these things, but we don’t. We can feel both, be both, hold both. I'll never stop fighting for what I believe in, and celebrating how far we’ve come feels like an important part of that fight.

Happy pride.

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