The parades may be cancelled this year, but there are still many ways to celebrate Pride!
It has been 50 years since the Stonewall rebellion: an LGBTQ uprising against police violence. Over half a century on, it is important to look back to the pioneers of gay rights and learn about their sacrifices and achievements. This feels particularly relevant in the light of recent worldwide protests against police brutality.
Here are some ways to learn more about those who fought for gay rights, support the most vulnerable corners of the LGBTQ community, and celebrate the meaning of Pride:
- Watch “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”.
Johnson was a Black drag queen who led the Stonewall demonstrations and fought for gay and trans rights. Despite gaining iconic status- photographed by Andy Warhol, commemorated by RuPaul, immortalised in street art, and celebrated in documentaries- justice for Johnson’s death has never been found.
The documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” is available to watch on Netflix.
- Donate to queer and trans organisations.
LGBTQ Fund posts bail for LGBTQ prisoners in the United States, with particular focus on immigrants and asylum seekers. www.lgbtqfund.org
Black Queer and Intersectional Collective is a grassroots organisation fighting for Black LGBTQ+ liberation. https://bqic.net
Brown Boi Project works to challenge racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia in communities of colour. www.brownboiproject.org
There are also many UK-based charities supporting LGBTQ+ Communities, such as Stonewall, who work towards LGBTQ+ inclusion and acceptance, and Mermaids UK, which supports trans youth.
If you can’t afford to donate, read more about the work of these amazing organisations and charities, and spread the word!
- Support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Black trans people are among the most likely to be murdered. Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Monika Diamond, Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, Muhlaysia Booker, Bee Love Slater, Ashanti Carmon, Kiki Fantroy, Kelly Stough, Claire Legato, Victoria Carmen White, Zoe Spears, Rae’Lynn Thomas, and Bailey Reeves were all killed in the past two years. I hope you didn’t skip reading any of their names.
- Learn about the history of LGBTQ rights in the UK.
It’s fantastic that Pride and the LGBTQ+ community has become so international—but it is important to know about our own specific rights and history. LGBT+ History Month has produced this poster of landmark figures and legal milestones, which is a good place to start learning! https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/resources/lgbt-history-month/wallchart/
- Reach out to a friend.
It’s a difficult time for all of us right now. With pride cancelled and the lockdown separating many of us from our friends, it is especially difficult for those members of the LGBTQ+ community who are quarantined with intolerant families, or kept apart from their partners or community. Use this time to uplift one another and celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community!
We have come so far already in our fight for civil rights, but it’s not over yet! Keep learning more, keep supporting your community, keep a hand outstretched to those most vulnerable. But most importantly, keep celebrating.
Lots of love, NCH LGBTQ+ Soc.
It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience – it wasn’t no damn riot.
— Stormé DeLarverie