In the 1950s and 1960s, the LGBTQ+ community faced an anti-homosexual legal system. Homosexuality was referred to as sodomy in law and was considered a crime. It was also illegal for a man to dress as a woman and women faced punishment if they were wearing less than three pieces of “feminine clothing.” The flashpoint of the gay rights movement can be dated to June 28th, 1969, when police arrived at Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City. 200 patrons inside and out did not sit and wait to be arrested by police officers. Instead they resisted and then rioted to send the police a loud and clear message that they were frustrated and had enough of the status quo for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Two weeks later, the Gay Liberation Front announced they were organizing a series of protests to revolt against the oppressive laws and stifling societal values. This revolt encouraged LGBTQ+ people to speak up proudly instead of hide away. Some major key players for the gay rights movement by transgender icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Though these transgender women paved the way for gay activism, during the 1970s, transgender people were largely left out of the conversation for equal rights and treatment.
Today, the transgender movement is finally finding its voice after decades of suppression and oppression from heteronormative society and even inclusion by mainstream organizations of the past. Pride is an act of resistance against the same forces that we’re still dealing with today and it’s much more necessary than we think. With Black and brown LGBTQ+ people still facing housing and job discrimination, discrimination within legal system and family law, LGBTQ+ people of color are clearly overpoliced and underprotected, thus showing the need forPride. Though Pride originally emerged as a series of protests, over the years it has transitioned into a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community while simultaneously bringing to light the injustices and mistreatment LGBTQ+ people have and continue to face.