June is a month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride, marking the annual remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall Riots. In 1969, NYPD violently raided a Greenwich Village gay club called Stonewall Inn, arresting all patrons violating the state’s former law that forced citizens to wear at least three “gender-appropriate” garments of clothing. The police physically and sexually assaulted many of the LGBTQ+ clubgoers, which led to six days of destructive confrontations and protests between club patrons/neighborhood citizens and NYPD. The Stonewall Riots served as one of the main stimuli for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement across the world.
Although the times have “supposedly” changed and a good portion of the Western world recognizes the LGBTQ+ community, we are nowhere near the level of acceptance at which we must operate. The US Supreme Court has heard a handful of cases involving the community’s rights such as One, Inc. v. Olsen- 1958 (court allows One: The Homosexual Magazine’s mail delivery, marking first time in history the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gays/lesbians/bisexuals); Lawrence v. Texas- 2003 (where the court overruled a sodomy law in Texas and Justice Kennedy wrote, “The state cannot demean their [gays’] existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime,“); and Obergefell v. Hodges- 2015 (court rules in favor of marriage equality via the fourteenth amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and allows all LGBTQ+ couples to legally obtain marriage certificates). Pride month celebrates all the progress that has been made regarding LGBTQ+ rights including tolerance and acceptance. Just as heterosexual citizens have the freedom to live their lives and love who they please without fear of judgement or violence, LGBTQ+ people should be allowed to live the same way.
This Pride, I wish for acceptance for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. Although I’m not a member, many of my most beloved family and friends are, so I understand how important it is to have the freedom to be oneself. I wish each person unconditional love from their friends and family so that they don’t have to be afraid of coming out as their true selves. I wish them safety from the harm that any bigot may try and bestow upon them. I wish them joy, love, confidence, peace, and agency as they live their lives only for themselves. Happy Pride friends, let’s celebrate with a Queer Eye/Call Me By Your Name marathon!