June is Pride Month and celebrates the LBGTQ community. It also commemorates the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969. Pride Month is important because it brings to light the need to recognize and celebrate members of humankind who are still persecuted for one reason, and one reason only – their sexual orientation.
The first gay pride parade occurred on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots – June 28, 1970. At that time, it was called Christopher Street Liberation Day. Gay rights were not a new concept in 1969. The first gay rights organization was founded by Henry Gerber in 1924 and forced to disband in 1925 due to ongoing police raids. Too, other gay rights organizations were founded before the Stonewall Riots, however, Stonewall became the recognized catalyst for Pride Month. The official chant from the streets became, “Say it loud, gay is proud”.
Stonewall Inn, the center of the Stonewall Riots was located in New York’s Greenwich Village. Not unlike many businesses during that era, the Mafia owned and operated Stonewall Inn. While the Mafia did afford a modicum of protection, police raids were still commonplace. On the morning of June 28, 1968, the police raided before the patrons of Stonewall Inn were forewarned. Thirteen people, including employees and patrons, were roughed up, humiliated, and arrested. The raid and arrests weren’t the first, nor would they be the last, but the Stonewall Inn raid set off a firestorm of riots that lasted for the next five days.
Since the days of the Stonewall Riots, countless gay people have been harrassed, discriminated against, thrown out of their families, and killed because of their sexual orientation. When will we realize that all people, all human beings, originated from the same source – Divine Love? The essence of who we are as individuals has no gender, no sexual orientation, no race, nor color. We are all God-breathed, no one less than another. No one less loved by the heart of Divine Love.
I am the mother of a child who is gay. I am proud of her for many reasons including the fact that she is willing to stand proudly against the tide and not be ashamed. Her sexual orientation is but a small part of the sensational human being she is.
I do not identify as a Christian for a number of reasons but I do believe in God and the incarnation of God on earth in the person of Yeshua (Jesus). Yeshua wore the clothes of humanity, loved all, treated all with respect, and dignity, and most importantly, saw beyond the earthly garments of gender, sexual orientation, race, and color to the inner God-breathed essence of all. It is time we do likewise…..