Stonewall was a Riot
Remembering Stonewall today and Everyday
The subsequent police raid and eventual violent uprising would go on to be memorialized to this day as one of the sparks that ignited the modern queer rights movement. For years now, we’ve used this day to look back and comment on how far we’ve come, but this year it feels like we’ve never been so close to returning to that time as a society. A society that treats drag performers as dangers to children and the public. A society that treats queer people as existential treats to society and tries to legislate away our rights to healthcare. A society that looks once again to criminalizing our love, our bodies, and our existence.
Having pride in this climate is hard. Its easy to feel demoralized when everything we’ve fought for decades seems so fragile – so close to disappearing. Its times like these we need to remember Stormé DeLarverie, standing handcuffed in police custody outside the Stonewall Inn in the early morning all those years ago. "Why don't you guys do something!?" She shouted at the bystanders.
She was under attack, and together with her queer community they demanded their rights and stood up to a society that saw them as less than, deviant, and immoral. For days they rioted in the streets throwing bottles and dropping bricks through windshields of police cars. They marched in the streets. They confronted oppression where it lived and made themselves unavoidable.