Fifty years ago at The Stonewall Inn, gay pride took the form of a riot, not a parade. Today, the question remains as relevant as ever: Just how do we define “love is love,” and what are we willing to do to defend one another? This week, we speak with a group of LGBTQIA leaders who each have a different relationship to being out and proud. We’ve come a long way they say, but in the next 50 years, we have a long way to go.
- Scot Nakagawa is the Senior Partner at ChangeLab.
- Kaz Mitchell is the Co-Executive Director of Circle of Voices Inc.
- Edafe Okporo is the Director of RDJ Refugee Shelter.
- Bri M. is a Creator and Producer at Power Not Pity.
Now just known as Stonewall to many around the world, that night in 1969 is recognized as the launch of the modern Gay Rights Movement. From gay marriage and the recognition of LGBT families to the movement for transgender rights, progress has been made, but where do we have yet to go? When it comes to liberation, the cry of those early rioters, many of them young, trans, poor, people of color; what do we need to do next? There is still no federal law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Many LGBTQIA+ people continue to live in fear and experience violence, even death, in their countries throughout the world, and right here. In light of that, instead of looking back 50 years to ’69, we’re going to look forward 100. Where will we be in 2069?
“In being a New Yorker, I’ve heard so many stories about how wonderful was and how it gave us such a voice. But then I heard from some of my elders of color, or as they would say back then, African Americans, and they felt left out pretty much from the story.” – Kaz Mitchell
“A fight for queer people here is a fight for queer people everywhere.” – Edafe Okporo
“We, unfortunately, are facing another insurgency of white nationalism, and various different kinds of nationalistic movements that have lifted the rate of hate crime dramatically, and are really creating the context now for some incredible fights.” – Scot Nakagawa
“I find that Pride is usually all about homogeneity. And I want to include the voices of disabled people, of queer disabled people, disabled people of color, trans disabled people.” – Bri M.