The Gay Pride parades, held last month around the country and around the world, were commemorating a riot.
A series of riots, actually, which took place over a series of several days.
The Gay Pride parades held every June around the world — the stroller contingents, the church groups, the trucks with the booming sound systems and the rainbow balloons and the handsome young men gyrating in their underwear, the polo-shirted employees of assorted corporations, the local politicians waving from convertibles — all of this is done in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. A series of riots that took place over several days in June of 1969; a series of riots in which the queers — after being pushed and pushed and pushed again, by cops and lawmakers and psychiatrists and the news media and everyone else in the freaking world, for days and months and years, and then rounded up in what was supposed to be just one more police raid of one more Mafia-owned gay bar on one more summer evening — finally fought back. The literal kind of fighting back; the “setting fire to garbage cans and throwing rocks at cops” kind of fighting back.
I think it’s important that we remember this.
And I think it’s important to remember why they happened in the first place.
Stonewall Uprising is a really, really good way to remember.
Thus begins my latest Media Darling column on CarnalNation, Stonewall Uprising. To find out more about the Stonewall riots, and how this documentary about them gives us crucial, inspiring, often hilarious perspective on queer activism today, or indeed on any sort of activism today — read the rest of the piece. (And if you feel inspired to comment here, please consider cross-posting your comment to Carnal Nation — they like comments there, too.) Enjoy!