Stonewall Remains Relevant at Fifty


Photographs courtesy of Giang Nguyen

On June 28, 1969, the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a prominent gay bar in Greenwich village,with the intent to arrest the LGBTQ+ patrons inside. Their crime was not a moral one, but rather one of difference. In the eyes of the law, the LGBTQ+ community was an illegal blight on society that could never coexist with modern sensibilities.

Tired of this unjust oppression, the patrons of Stonewall revolted against the officers attempting to arrest them. Galvanized by these actions, the LGBTQ+ community began to raise its collective voice to earn the rights they had long since been denied.

In honor of the protests that continue to help the community find its voice, LGBTQ+ citizens across the world organize yearly Pride marches every June. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of The Stonewall protests. And while the world has started to accept queer individuals, these marches remain relevant today.

While the LGBTQ+ communities of the Western world have seen great strides in recent years due to movements spawned by Stonewall, there are still multiple members of the community facing oppression both at home and abroad. With that in mind, I encourage you to turn your attention to a recent human rights violation in the nation of Brunei.

This small island nation has recently classified “homosexual sex” as an offense punishable by stoning. In response to this, activists, celebrities and world leaders have stepped forward and raised their voices in support of LGBTQ+ individuals.

It is important that we do the same. Every march at Pride, although a fun experience, is still a march for the health and safety of our community. As we celebrate progress, we must also cast our vision forward. I ask that you raise your voice this Pride month. Whether you are combating injustices in your nation or rallying against those abroad, your voice does carry some impact. If you would like to aid individuals suffering in Brunei, I recommend donating to the charity, Rainbow Railroad. Their goal is to help contact and safely evacuate LGBTQ+ members from areas where they face prosecution.


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