It’s difficult to imagine the summer of 1969 when the first punch was thrown at the Stonewall Inn. Today, when it comes to celebrating Pride—exciting parades, floats, feathers, rainbow-themed outfits, all in celebration of queer identity— we can also take this opportunity to refamiliarize ourselves with its original roots as a protest against police brutality and homophobic violence. While we can still enjoy its progress and the privilege it has become to party every June, Pride is also a time to commemorate the moments in queer history that sparked activism and progress toward equality.
Countless queer BIPOC folks have achieved the most defining moments of LGBTQIA+ history. From activists who led the protests following the 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn to openly queer elected officials, these people made significant contributions to the community. They risked everything by revealing their sexual orientation and identity. With their marginalization furthered by intersectionality as both queer and BIPOC, these heroes not only experienced violence, discrimination, and oppression but also have faced the unsurprising whitewashing of LGBTQIA+ history.
As we parade our pride this month, TMS marches to the beat of these trailblazing grand marshals of LGBTQIA+ history.