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Fifty years on from the landmark Stonewall riots, the circumstances for NYC’s LGBT+ culture have changed exponentially. i-D celebrates the freedom given to today’s young LGBT+ population as a result of the previous generations’ fight. ⁣

Oh, Stonewall. Many people do Pride Month and really do not grasp what it was like to be gay BEFORE there was a month dedicated to being gay. We tend to forget that the people who were there, in the trenches when you could get arrested for wearing clothes that belonged to the other gender (!!) were transgressing way before we had same sex marriage and all that jazz. It's been fifty years since the Stonewall uprising and we need to remember that.

Yesterday I went to Milwaukee Pride and I had a blast. I had a blast because from the moment I stepped in that park it felt like another world. Really. Everybody was happy and there were people in colorful outfits and people in jeans and t-shirts and people wearing all kinds of combinations of bondage gear and older people and younger people and the whole spectrum of LGBTQ people were there. Without fear of judgement. Without fear of violence. Without fear of being beaten up because they are who they are. Without fear of being killed because they are who they are.

But still, we had to go through metal detectors. Once inside it was all rainbows and HRC stickers, without street preachers telling kids they’re going to hell. It’s a price we keep paying because there’s still the repugs and the religious right we have to fight. Those queens fought the police and the mafia. And now even NYPD has issued an apology for their appalling behavior against gay people during the late sixties.

We also tend to basically forget those people. We tend to forget that we, as LGBTQ will also get old. Nobody is a twink for life. The people who were there, fighting for our rights are now in their seventies. They survived the raids and the attacks from the religious right (may Anita Bryant forever rot in the hell she always talked about) and AIDS. But we tend to forget about that. We tend to forget that it was trans women of color who were there, throwing bottles to the police. We tend to forget that it was probably mainly sissy boys of color who, fed up with police brutality and mafia mistreatment, took to the streets and basically started a revolution.

And the ones who survived are now in their late sixties and seventies. And they are living proof that we cannot just sit and wait for the system to keep working. There's no such thing as sitting pretty when we still have the religious right to fight against and people in the government working behind closed doors to strip us from hard-earned gains in the social scene. You saw how easy was for Cheeto to strip trans servicemenbers of their right to serve the country. You know that republican lawmakers are working to tear down same sex marriage one state at a time.

So, listen to your elders: the fight does not stop. Yes, celebrate Pride and let your freak fly. But don't forget that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. I wish I knew LGBTQ people who were there in the fifties and sixties and have got the chance to see all the changes society has gone through in the last fifty years. I bet the stories would be incredible. That's why I'm posting this today, in celebration of those who threw those bricks and faced the police for my right to wear a rainbow t-shirt this June and kiss another man while walking down the street.

The fight is not over.


P.S. By the way, the Stonewall riots may not be what you think they were.... checking your knowledge as I type...


  1. and the same rethugs want to see LGBTQ people and women disappear back into the closets and kitchens. NO FUCKING WAY!

  2. “It doesn’t matter who threw the first brick.” What really matters is that the movement happened. And what matters more is that there are people who can take up the mantle and carry the movement forward. Because now, more than ever, there are people and organizations that want to erase history, and the gains that have been made. We must ensure that the hard won progress continues and that we keep moving forward. We can’t get complacent and rest. There is still a long road ahead.

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍đź’‹‍👨

  3. The truth that "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" applies to our community too.

  4. Now more than ever we need our floats, parades, rainbows, and thousands of thousands of gays, lesbians, transgender, and allies marching, parading, and celebrating out in the streets calling for and demanding justice, rights, and freedom. Leave it to a group of drag queens to throw the first brick. Now who got balls, Mr. Masc guy? Ha! It takes a pair of stiletto heels and wig reeking of cigarette smoke and stale beer to tell the cops to fuck off. Go out and sashay down your city's streets, gurl. Be out loud and proud so that little boy and girl watching on the sidewalk in wonder realizes that playing with mom's shoes and dresses is OK. Carry on!

  5. As I like to say "the march goes on ..."
    But one day, some day, this will all seem so quaint and unreal to generations to come; the idea that we had to fight to be accepted.

  6. Still recovering here....all I can say is the Philadelphia Pride did not disappoint. I think the attendance tripled to what they expected. Amazing.

  7. It was a really, long and difficult fight, and do not let down your guard, even for a second. There are haters out there who will try and beat you senseless with the Bible in order to remove you. The only way to true success is to take away their power.

  8. @annemarie: preach! And that my dear is their end goal. And we must resist!
    @bae: ohh complacency. That monster that lulls us into thinking everything is all right.
    @debra: absolutely agree. We cannot let our guard down. There’s too many shady players in the game, ready to take away hard-won victories.
    @walter: yes! Visibility. So under appreciated. I am one of those who always tries to go to the parades, the celebrations, any event that increases visibility. I love it when the queers outnumber the bigots ten thousand to one.
    @bob: can’t wait for that day. When the bigots have little or nothing to say. Of course, we thought that the right to an abortion was safe and look what Cheeto has done: galvanize the repugs and create our own Handmaiden’s Tale.
    @madsie: woot woot! Yay! Awesome you had a great time! I’m planning on attending Chicago’s. I hope it’s also HUGE.
    @dave: oh, yes. The Bible. The cherrypicked passages. The troll concern for our health. And who will think of the children! Bigots. Never to be underestimated.



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