Friday, June 28, 2013

My Thanks to the Men and Women of the Stonewall Riots

Forty-four years ago today a brave group of gay men and women stood up for their rights and fought back. What they didn't know at the time was what an impact their actions would make on millions of other gay people for years to come.
The Stonewall Inn - New York
As I am reading and writing about the events of the night of June 27 through the morning of June 28, 1969 my emotions are out of control. I cry for the hurt and abuse these people endured, I am overcome with pride that they put their lives on the line so that I could have a better life, I laugh at the ridiculousness of the raid that the police performed just to harass people minding their own business and I am sorry that I haven't done enough to further their cause. The reality of the freedoms I have as a gay man came on the backs of the heroes of 1969. On that fateful day I was only a month past the age of 8 years old.
Very Proud Indeed
I still had not realized that I was gay and I have no recollection of the events that took place. My family probably never even talked about it and if they did it was probably in French (Cajun French) so that we had no idea what they were discussing. It boggles my mind how these people faced the police and the risk of public harassment for their right to be who they were. Finding words to thank these people is hard for me - their actions have allowed me to be open about who I am and to be able to love a man that has been my partner and best friend for 23 years. Even though I am thankful for everything we have as a gay community I know we have a long way to go. That is why I live openly and I don't try to hide my homosexuality. It is also why I choose to make a gay related post throughout this month. These are small gestures but I hope they help and I hope I am honoring these people by not hiding in the closet. The most I can hope for is that these people would be proud that I am not hiding and I also hope that my small actions are making a difference. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did so that I could have a better life.

Here are a few links relating to the Stonewall Riots . . .

The Stonewall Riots - 1969 — A Turning Point in the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Liberation
Stonewall Riots of 1969
Stonewall Riots

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