Since the San Francisco Pride Parade was canceled, I’ve wondered how I could still celebrate gay liberation this June in a meaningful way. Then, the rioting started.
The Black Lives Matter protests remind me a great deal of the rebellions that led to the first pride celebrations, the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Back then, tired of the oppressive atmosphere perpetuated by the New York Police Department, bar patrons fought back. No one was more instrumental in this confrontation than Black LGBTQ women like Stormé DeLarverie and Marsha P. Johnson.
Which is why it’s so ironic to me that some of my queer peers have chosen to ignore or condemn the Black Lives Matter protests. It’s not right to sit at home and pretend like the struggle against police violence doesn’t concern everyone, like we don’t owe it to our Black brothers and sisters to fight for their lives in the same way they fought for ours.
It’s time for Pride to return to its radical roots. This month, we all can strive to honor our forebearers by continuing the fight for the liberation of all people.