Pride Month is in full swing and we are loving it! Last week we kicked things off with an article about how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more about this please click here. One way to be a better ally is educating yourself on the history of the community so we thought we would provide you with some information on the topic. Here are some of the amazing activists who have created and inspired change to create a more inclusive society!
Marsha P. Johnson
On June 28th 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York, which sparked a riot for 6 days and acted as a catalyst for the gay rights movement around the world. Many credit Marsha P. Johnson for throwing the first brick or shot glass that is thought to spark the riots. Marsha was a transgender activist and said that the P in her name stood for “Pay it no mind” which was a phrase used amongst the community when people made negative commented on their appearances. Marsha spent most of her life helping others even though she struggled with several mental health issues.
Marsha and Sylvia, an activist and self-professed drag queen, were actually good friends and both co-founded STAR – Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries! The organisation was created to support gay and trans individuals who were homeless. In 1973 at the Christopher Street Liberation Day, she delivered her famous fiery speech:
“You all tell me, go and hide my tail between my legs.I will no longer put up with this shit. I have been beaten. I have had my nose broken. I have been thrown in jail. I have lost my job. I have lost my apartment. For gay liberation, and you all treat me this way? What the f**k’s wrong with you all? Think about that!”
In 2016, the Stonewall Inn was named a national monument and in 2020, it was announced that a monument would be built in New York’s Greenwich village to commemorate both amazing women!
The Past, The Present and The Future
Unfortunately, Rivera passed in 2002 and Johnson in 1992. The world has come a long way since then but there is still so much more that needs to be done. At Love Yourself, we wanted to find a way to honour activists of the past and present who have and continue to shape the future. So, for the 4 weeks of Pride Month we will be speaking to different people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and asking one question. What does Pride Month mean to you?
Last week we had the chance to speak to Jose Alfred Batalla and here is his answer:
“Pride Month for me is unapologetically celebrating ourselves, our uniqueness, the diversity of our community. It’s embracing your flaws, breaking your limits and just loving yourself. Every day is Pride day to us anyway since we’re always extra!” - https://www.instagram.com/alfredpower/
This week we spoke to Abraham Fernandez and here is his answer:
"Pride Month - A time to celebrate love in all its different manifestations, accepting one another and cherishing what make us different. It is also an opportunity to remember that not everyone can enjoy this freedom and that is what makes pride still relevant. Pride for me means freedom, freedom to be yourself whatever that might mean for you." - https://www.instagram.com/
On week 3 we spoke to Pixie Polite, Multi-Award winning Drag Queen & Community Activist:"To me, Pride is about loving yourself, loving your body, and loving everything that makes you different or unique. It’s about celebrating love, positivity and living your life as your most authentic, happy and healthy self. It's about celebrating the diversity of our beautiful LGBTQIA+ umbrella and uplifting those whose voices are overshadowed.It’s about striving for a better future for yourself, and for people around the world.It's about remembering our history. Appreciating all the struggles that our community has gone through, and all the things we are still fighting for. All of the progress that the LGBTQ+ community has made, is built upon the resilience, activism and suffering of the generations who came before us. We can honour them by continuing the fight for equality, not just for ourselves, but for anyone, who is oppressed or marginalised." - https://www.instagram.com/
"Coming from Poland where homophobia is an everyday thing and moving to the U.K. at an early age and being accepted most of the time for who I am is so special to me. For Pride, it is so very important for me to celebrate but at the same time to educate people on what’s happening outside England to our LGBTQIA+ siblings. I am privileged to live here and have my rights but we still gotta remember most of the countries don’t, and we are here to keep fighting the good fight and to make a change!" - https://www.instagram.com/
We encourage everyone to think about what Pride Month means to you as an individual. If you would like to share your thoughts with us, head over to Instagram as we love to hear from you! (@loveyourselfhq)
By Pooja Depala