It’s been 50 years since those infamous nights when Greenwich Village’s counter-culture and residents decided to counter the abuse they’d been enduring. Since; “The Stonewall Riots” have acted as a touch-stone to remind us where we’ve come from. Instead of taking the harassment as status quo, those ground-breaking individuals took to the streets and pivoted towards revolution. We, the disenfranchised, the outcasts of society used those moments to carve out our own path.
Love, Freedom, Happiness & Pride
Today Pride is celebrated around the world as a showcase of that same defiant spirit.
Like then; we are embroiled in the throes of societal turmoil and discourse. We began to use our common struggles as a reason to come together. Like those originators at The Stonewall Inn; we represent a compilation of letters that society can only categorize as “Other”. Even when we identify on an unconventional spectrum; we often also face prosecution because of our gender, race, and class more often than not we endure it all simultaneously.
Coming out in 2006, Boston Pride; I found myself at home in a place I’d never been. Surrounded by people I’d never met. feeling like I’d finally realized what it was like to feel love at first sight. Now I travel to any and all Pride celebrations; if I can figure it out I’m there. Each and every time I feel the same familiar feeling.
Long Beach Pride 2019, fifty years from its precipice now look how far we’ve come.
Not Just a Protest
Pride is not only a protest, Pride bring us music, art, fashion, awareness and resources just to name a few. Organizations like Status Is Sexy do 1-minute HIV Testing on the spot. So we don’t just dance and celebrate.
Pride has evolved from rage to organization, from outcry to celebration. We don’t just march to be heard, we march to be seen. Pride offers the opportunity to unveil an uninhibited rainbow being that the world has shunned. Every time I go; I feel this indescribable feeling of community.
Our struggles can often feel isolating but in a sea of strangers that are instant friends; I can’t help but feel their love and the warmth of the light they bring. I imagine what I’m feeling is their hope, their optimism; I’m feeling their Pride. And I can’t help but to reciprocate.
This Year’s Long Beach Pride was no different
Happy Pride 2019