By Cory David, Mr. Eagle Wilton Manors 2020/2021
Are you proud in pride? The month of June always brings such grand celebrations for LGBTQ+ community including events and parades starting the summer on a high note of community and Pride. Where does our meaning of pride come from? Why are we so proud of the steps made down the path of equality? The sacrifices by many have paid for the legal rights we now have. Has justice prevailed in equality? Does justice come with injustice? Laws are enacted to include, and that inclusion is what’s important, right?
Yes, I believe that’s true, and yet with those judicial rights there are still leaders and groups trying to divide us. The ones we wanted acceptance from promote injustice against ones that are different from them.
On June 28, 1969, the police raided The Stonewall Inn, for no reason except being different. That one event became the most important apex for the gay liberation movement. That night a community had enough and that community fought back, stood up, and took action. With many social/political movements active, civil rights, anti-war, the 1960’s counterculture, all influenced and were a catalyst for our gay liberation.
A name not that familiar, Brenda Howard, “The Mother of Pride”, a radical activist, as humbled a person such not was her voice, she never went quietly. Brenda spearheaded a month of Gay Pride and the Christopher Street Parade which evolved into the New York Pride March and Celebrations. With so many conflicted, repressed, and scared to come out but with a yearning to be proud, the word Pride was adopted.
In New York, on June 28, 1970, the first Pride Parade was born. We showed up in droves, growing to thousands by the end of the 20 blocks marched. What makes us proud is understanding that a few voices organizing together can grow to thousands and create change for many. That is our community at its best.
That’s why we must keep our strength, to show the world that we, too, are human. We know the road those before us traveled, so we honor them and protect the ones following in our steps.
We are celebrating our rights, our love for community, and the courage of those attending the first pride and of those arrested at Stonewall Inn. Like many worldwide who are discriminated against or persecuted for being LGBTQ+, black, female, Asian, and so on, one is too many anywhere on this beautiful planet.
We are human kind, and we deserve and demand human rights under God. Love – let’s love each other. Enjoy with love, Pride Month.
I love you all,
Mr. Eagle Wilton Manors 2020/2021