Hello, Avalon and friends!
Why is June* Pride Month?
The Stonewall Riots started in the early morning of June 28th, 1969 after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village NYC. Even though police raids and harassment were no strangers to the LGBTQ+ community, this time they had had enough. According to some, it was Stormé DeLarverie‘s scuffle with police that ignited the riot. Other accounts suggest Marsha P. Johnson or Sylvia Rivera threw the first brick at Stonewall—over 50 years later and this is still a hot debate. (Avalon client SAGE has a great video series interviewing Stonewall veterans.)
Regardless, the result was days of riots and protests, sometimes involving thousands of people, and what is considered the start of the LGBTQI+ movement. The first pride march was one year later, and the June 28th, 1970 march through New York City was officially known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day march.
*Some areas hold festivals and parades in months other than June, sometimes because of the heat. For example, Atlanta’s festival is in October.
(L-R) Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera
Finally, I present you with a quote from Ellen DeGeneres. She holds a special place in my heart because I remember her coming out on television in 1997 and the myriad feelings a questioning, teenage Sarah Birnie had at the time. We’ve sure come a long way.
“Embrace who you are. Literally. Hug yourself. Accept who you are.”
Buffalo’s Pride festival was this weekend and I enjoyed watching the parade and being in the community. To all who celebrate, Happy Pride!