What does the 50th anniversary of Stonewall mean to you?

Dalyla Baker
she/her | West Philadelphia
“That’s history, but that’s not textbook history. It’s something a lot more meaningful, especially to people who have been chastised and beaten down for a long time just for being ourselves. As a black transwoman, it means a lot to me because it was a black transwoman that led this whole thing. It’s times like this that I feel really empowered.”

Jaida Burroughs
North Philadelphia | she/they
“It means being open, aware and honest. It means being authentically yourself, which is a really hard thing — being comfortable with yourself and owning everything that you are doing because people see it. Stonewall didn’t know that we’d see it, but we saw it and it was amazing and one of the biggest influences in my life and for a lot of queer people. It means bettering tomorrow for anybody.”

Gyanna Santana
Northeast Philadelphia | she/they
“The 50th anniversary of Stonewall represents freedom, fighting for our rights and, more importantly, us as an LGBTQIA community coming together and really making it known that we’re people and we deserve as much as the next person on this planet. If we all just come together, even in the midst of chaos and hold hands and do this the right way with love and unity, we can actually make a difference in this world together.”

Alex Vallejo
they/them | Pennsworth
“It’s so crucially important to folks. Especially, I identify as trans femme, so there’s such an important narrative that’s emerged about the role of transwomen in that. I’m 36, so I wasn’t alive then, so it’s hard to feel that so viscerally, like I know a lot of older folks do. I really admire and am a little jealous of that. It’s special to think we can point to people and say this is really special, powerful and brave and it’s something I’m not sure I would have the bravery to do.”