The Stonewall Riots of 1969 and their annual commemoration, in the form of Pride Parades, are arguably the most well-known queer rights events of the 20th century. But what makes Stonewall unique compared to similar demonstrations of the same decade, and what factors combined to ensure its commemoration continued over 40 years later?
I would argue the unique combination of an oppressive environment, a memorable resistance to that oppression, and community access to resources for future commemoration of the event, all worked together for the Stonewall Riots in a way that had not been replicated before. Two previous events demonstrate the importance of an environment oppressive enough to spark a memorable resistance from deviant minorities. Continue reading Underdogs Hijacked: Stonewall Riots’ Commemorability
Nearly five decades ago, the modern queer rights movement exploded from the grief and anger of the most marginalized members of our community: queer people of color, trans women, sex workers, and other people starved for justice took to the streets. Arrests were resisted, fires were lit, cops were assaulted, and our mothers refused to back down. The revolution had finally come and straights were going to have to put up with our shit for once.
People who weren’t there got inspired. They threw open their closets and forced the world to realize we were far more numerous than previously believed. Slowly it dawned on them that we were not some faceless and malicious boogie man, but their children and their neighbors and their co-workers. We weren’t scary, we were just like them!
As it turned out, only some of us weren’t scary.
Continue reading Just Like You