Sunday, June 30, 2019

Pride Post 2019: A Half-Century After Stonewall

The annual Pride parade in NYC has become a Big Deal, but in this era of Pride commercialization, it has to be noted that the Stonewall Uprising a half-century ago was a response to government-sanctioned violence against LGBTQ persons, largely persons of color. The riot, as it was termed, was led by transwomen of color responding to police harassment and assault (despite the whitewashed depiction in a recent movie).

Fifty years later, Pride is often seen as a white male celebration, though alternative marches have arisen to counter the sanitized narrative pushed by government agencies and corporations. The point of Pride is visibility, a display of solidarity in the face of peril. A gathering such as took place in Manhattan today could not have occurred a half-century ago... the Powers That Be simply would not have allowed it. The problem is that the struggle isn't over- violence against transwomen of color is rampant and Republican congresscreeps still oppose anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The Bad Old Days could always return in these days of weaponized bigotry and fanatic populism.

Dr Martin Luther King, Jr said: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. That arc needs to be bent toward justice. The Stonewall patrons who refused to accept abuse at the hands of individuals who were supposed 'to protect and serve' strained to bend that arc, and any bit of complacency can cause that arc to bend in another direction. Here's wishing my LGBTQ readers a happy Pride day, albeit a cautious one. The struggle isn't over, and the forces of regression never stop.

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