By Rosie Murray
48 years ago, a brick was thrown that started a revolution in the LGBT+ community. Police raided the Stonewall Inn – a safe haven for members of our community at the time. This was a common occurrence, there were raids every month and many instances of police brutality against LGBT+ people. But during this time, in 1969, instead of accepting their fate, the community decided to fight back. This fight was led primarily by transgender people and people of colour, a fact that has often been overlooked in recent years. Their displays of anger and bravery caused something to shift in our community, and the days of rioting that followed, marked our first display of true pride.
From an outsider’s perspective, pride may just look like a party – with a carnival atmosphere, flamboyant outfits and over the top events. An element of that is correct; there is joy in our marches, but there is so much more.
Pride month is a celebration and commemoration of a vast array of things. We march, not to show off our fancy outfits and hair, but to show solidarity with every other LGBT+ person in the world, and remember those who came before us. We march to be seen; as for the other months of the year, many of us feel overlooked and side-lined. As in our everyday we hardly see ourselves represented in the world around us. June is the time to highlight the imbalance that our community faces day in day out.
Pride is a protest. We are protesting the treatment of our siblings in other countries, where it is still illegal to love someone of the same gender. We are protesting the violence and hate that our transgender and non-binary siblings face. We are protesting the governments that deny our existence; that see us as something less. We shout so that people with the power to change the world can hear us. Pride month allows us to put ourselves first, at the centre of everyone’s minds – so that we can experience the world the way that cisgender and heterosexual people get to live every single day.
We are a rebellion at heart, we are a revolution against hate. Nothing – not violence, not aggression, not oppression – has stopped this community in the past, and we have no intention to ever give in.