The first pride was a riot.
In June of 1969, Black and Brown LGBTQ+ leaders, including Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, and Sylvia Rivera led an uprising against police brutality.
After police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular bar in the LGBTQ+ community in New York City, they violently arrested several people for being LGBTQ+. Community members began throwing objects at the police and attempted to set fire to the Stonewall Inn, after police barricaded themselves inside the bar. Riots continued for five days as our community clashed with police and fought back against oppression.
These queer and trans leaders, many of whom were people of color, risked their lives so that the entire LGBTQ+ community could be free to live our lives without constant terror of arrest and persecution from police.
Our BIPOC — and especially Black — community members still don't have this freedom. Every day, the police harass, arrest, assault, and jail countless people for the color of their skin.
On Monday May 25, we witnessed four Minneapolis policemen murder George Floyd.
Tragically, George Floyd wasn't the only one murdered by police in recent weeks. Breonna Taylor was killed by police in March and Tony McDade, a Black transgender man, was murdered by police in May.
Since George Floyd’s murder, a historic week of activism and protesting sparked a nationwide uprising against police violence and racism.
Each year, our community celebrates Pride month in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and the Black and Brown trans leaders who led this national awakening of the LGBTQ+ liberation movement.
We would not be where we are today without the Stonewall Riots fifty-one years ago.
Pride is still a protest.
During Pride month, we cannot ignore the injustices happening in our home, we cannot ignore the many Black lives lost to white supremacy, and we certainly will not return to "business as usual."
As our community has been out fighting for justice, we are reconnecting to the roots of Pride. We are thinking about the moments of civil liberation throughout history and the ways in which our ancestors fought for the freedom and protections we have today.
Pride is more than a parade or a festival. Pride is about making the change we need to create an equitable world. Pride is about the progress we have made, both for social acceptance and for self love.
We need to keep fighting for changes to make Minnesota a state that is safe for all of our community, especially our BIPOC community members, many of whom have been at the forefront of the progress made for LGBTQ+ rights throughout our country.
With your help, we can work together to resist oppression and work towards a world where everybody can live without fear of violence, harassment or discrimination.
Please join us for a month of protests, healing, and activism. We have put together these events and activities to give you spaces to process, reflect, and rest so you can restore your energy and power to keep working toward a safer, more equitable Minnesota.
Note: Because the needs of our community are changing each day in Minnesota right now, we may need to cancel or reschedule some of these events. Please RSVP for any events you are interested in attending so we can keep you updated.