L.A. Pride Celebrates The LGBTQ+ Community In Commemorating The Stonewall Rebellion
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – On June 28th, 1969, at The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York was the location of where many in the LGBTQ community say the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States occurred. It was the Stonewall Riot and it spawned a movement that has only grown over the years.
The Stonewall Inn was one of the few business establishments that welcomed the gay community at the time. It was a place where drag queens, transgender people, and homeless youth could congregate and feel a sense of community in a society that saw them as outcasts. At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, law enforcement officers raided the establishment, arrests and eventually to heated protest. Per Wikipedia, “police raids on gay bars were routine in the 1960s, but officers quickly lost control of the situation at the Stonewall Inn. Tensions between New York City police and gay residents of Greenwich Village erupted into more protests the next evening, and again several nights later. Within weeks, Village residents quickly organized into activist groups to concentrate efforts on establishing places for gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested.”
This year, L.A. Pride made it a point to remind the audience that Jun 29th, 2019 is the 50 anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. On each day of the festival, Councilmember John Duran gave impassioned speeches about the sacrifices that were made and people who paved the way for LGBTQ rights. He educated the crowd that the crowd of some of the main players during that time were not only transgender, but also minorities (Sylvia Rivera, who was Latina, and Marsha P. Johnson, who was black- both whom who will be remembered by a statue in their home city), fighting a battle for rights on multiple fronts.
While the weekend provided the Los Angeles community with the opportunity to connect and learn about the LGBTQ community with music and parades, I personally feel that the reminders (and even the education) for the youth in the crowd was a smart and necessary undertaking because you can’t look to the future until you understand your past.