Sheltering-in-Place: Day 87
The text on the image reads
All Black Lives Matter
One of the first things I saw on my beautiful, inspiring, and challenging social media feed was a poster for an "All Black Lives Matter Pride March" in Los Angeles. It warmed my tired little heart. I've learned that inclusivity is difficult, even with the best of intensions. Pride parades, I've read, have a history of not being entirely inclusive. I don't know if it's some, many, or all Pride parades, because I am one person able to do the research of one untrained researcher. But I digress. Read, "How 'All Black Lives Matter' Emerged From The Ashes Of A Failed Solidarity March," in the LAist for more details about how LA figured out how to have a march based more in solidarity than not this year.
Okay, back to being excited.
IT'S JUNE! It is the month of Pride Parades and Marches and Gatherings and More! With the pandemic and police brutality and protests and... wait.. murder hornets?.. and.... It is so nice to see something that looks and feels like a new normal. We can support each other in all things. I know that all of this is a tremendous amount of work. I've been part of festival and parade planning on a small scale. Even that much planning and organizing was a lot. This is so much more work and effort and awareness and negotiation. It's worth it. It's worth it for people to organize, to participate, to learn. The present can be intersectional, we don't have to wait for some amorphous, ever-distant future.
While very difficult things are happening all over the country—and the world—we can still celebrate each other, lift each other up, be excited about all the different ways people live and love and exist. I might be naive in this moment. That's fine. I need a minute to allow myself to refill with hope so I can keep going on into the next thing. If that means I get starry eyed about rainbows and flags and inclusivity, so be it. I like stars and rainbows and flags and inclusivity. I like it to be okay to be human.
On the more serious side of Pride, it's important to note the Stonewall riots/uprising. (I keep trying to write something deep and insightful, but it isn't working today. There must be too many stars in my eyes. Moving along....) The short documentary video below is recommended by a friend of mine. It gives an overview of the Stonewall riots/uprising, one of the most intense moments in the LGBTQ+ movement, the times and attitudes leading up to them, including police brutality, and how people fighting back made positive change.
The description from YouTube runs as follows:
Few personal accounts or archival material from the Stonewall riots actually exist. In STONEWALL OUTLOUD, World of Wonder weaves together a new, fresh account of those fateful nights through rare recordings unearthed from the archives of StoryCorps, featuring people who were there as the uprising began 50 years ago. New faces bring the voices of the past to life as today's top LBGTQ talent honor the significance of this profound moment in the story of gay rights in America.
Narrated by RuPaul
If you only remember one name from the Stonewall riots/uprising, today I ask that name be Marsha P. Johnson. She was a Black trans activist who was prominent in the Stonewall riots/uprising. She was also a living, breathing work of art of her own making. Visit the Marsha P. Johnson Institute online.
If all of this is new to you and you don't know where to start, no worries! Just start. Maybe start here, with some information about all the different Pride flags from Cosmopolitan magazine. Embrace complexity. It's part of the beauty of this world of ours.