Pride Month was established to recognize the Stonewall Riot in Manhattan; however, the history of “pride” goes back to the early 1900s. Prior to World War II, there were some gay and lesbina organizations, but after the war, a public approach to celebrate queer individuals was prevalent in newsletters, protest, and sit-ins. Gay, lesbain, and transgender people demanded equal protection under the law. The Stonewall Riot occurred on June 28, 1969 when the New York Police Department violently raided a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village, attacking the patrons because of their sexuality. The patrons fought back. This led to six days of civil unrest and protest in the streets of NYC.
In our U.S. Census records show that 5.3% of the U.S. population, between the ages of 15-24, is in a same-sex relationship. Yet our nation continues to express hate and anger towards individuals who identify as gay, lesbain, bisexual, queer, or who are transgender or intersex. According to the White House, more than 600 hate laws have been introduced into the legislature against members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Additionally, select books with queer characters or queer authors have been banned from libraries.
In our celebration of Pride Month this June, let us remember the senseless violence that has occurred against members of the LGBTQIA+ community for no other reason than for being who they are. Let us work towards allyship and advocate on the behalf of our queer brothers and sisters who share intersectional identities with us in race, gender, religion, and national origin. The social demographics of our residential neighborhoods are changing and so should our attitudes, beliefs, and characterization. To be restorative, the onus, then, is on us to show acceptance not tolerance of individuals who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In the month of June, E.C.R.J.C. stands in solidarity with our queer folks, queer-focused partnering organizations, and queer individuals who are circle practitioners. We recognize that hate cannot heal communities, but love and compassion will.