We stand with you

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Photo: Kelly Burkhardt

By the end of this year’s June Gay Pride Month, after doing countless interviews, it finally hit me. For my fellow members of Gay Liberation Front 1969, for the Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day Committee (that’s what we called our First ever PRIDE committee in 1970), and for those of us who were at Stonewall, June, Gay Pride month, will always be a time of reflecting on our past.  There are few of us still here and we were witness to history that is also our personal history. 

This year was the 50th anniversary of Gay Pride, and we all, like you, expected to be on the streets. But this was a very special year in other respects.  The country was hit with three distinct situations.  A pandemic, political paralyzation, and human injustice being burned into our very eyes thanks to a 8 minute, 24 second video of a man being murdered in plain sight.

Since many of us were told to lock down or quarantine, especially if you’re old or immunocompromised, we had no in-person Pride parades this year. But after the numerous outrages of injustice, people with a conscience headed to the streets and many in our community joined, as we should. 

Then came the murders of trans people, again in plain sight, and the cry for Black Trans lives grew strong. In many cities, the voices of Pride were transformed into voices of outrage. And as many have stated this month “our movement was born from a riot.” From that riot came Gay Liberation Front. We took to the streets almost everyday for a year. So it is in our DNA to be in the streets fighting for social justice. 

To those of you who are out there every day fighting for a better world, we stand with you.

To those of you who speak out when you see injustice, we stand with you.

And to those of you who are proud about who you are, who will never apologize for who you are, and who will fight for the right to be treated with humanity, we stand with you, always.