This is a photo of the first Pride parade.
The first parade commemorated an act of resistance to police brutality. Cops had been routinely raiding gay bars in New York City. But on 28 June 1969, people had enough.
The patrons who attended the Stonewall Inn were among the most marginalized of the queer community: butch lesbians, effeminate young men, drag queens, male sex workers, trans people, and homeless youth.
When cops raided Stonewall in the early hours that morning, these marginalized people resisted. They resisted going with the cops to the washroom for gender inspection. They resisted requests to produce identification.
After one woman was beaten several times in front of a large crowd of 500–600 that had gathered outside the bar, she yelled out, “Why don’t you guys do something?” And the crowd intervened. They threw coins, bottles, bricks, rocks, garbage cans. They even used a parking meter as a battering ram to get inside the bar, where the cops had barricaded themselves.
Hours later, the crowds dispersed, but they were out the next night rising up again in another act of resistance. And again a few days later.
Exactly one year after the Stonewall raid, they held a commemoration march on the same street where Stonewall was located, as well as marches in Los Angeles and Chicago. The second year, marches also occurred in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm. And each subsequent year added more cities.
This history of resistance to police brutality is the reason why we, as members of the queer community, must stand in solidarity with the black community as they resist police brutality. Why we must stand in solidarity with the Indigenous community as they resist police brutality. Why we must stand with everyone who opposes police brutality.
Because Pride should be more than an act of inclusivity; it should be an act of solidarity.
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