History and Need for Pride

By Shivani and Rushali

It all started on early hours of June 28th 1969 when police raided at at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York City.

Here is an account of what happened that dreadful morning – when armed with a warrant, police officers entered the club, roughed up patrons, and, finding bootlegged alcohol, arrested 13 people, including employees and people violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute. Fed up with constant police harassment and social discrimination, angry patrons and neighbourhood residents hung around outside of the bar rather than disperse, becoming increasingly agitated as the events unfolded and people were aggressively manhandled. At one point, an officer hit a lesbian over the head as he forced her into the paddy wagon — she shouted to onlookers to act, inciting the crowd to begin throw pennies, bottles, cobble stones, and other objects at the police.

Within minutes, a full-blown riot involving hundreds of people began. The police, a few prisoners, and a Village Voice writer barricaded themselves in the bar, which the mob attempted to set on fire after breaching the barricade repeatedly.

The fire department and a riot squad were eventually able to douse the flames, rescue those inside Stonewall, and disperse the crowd. But the protests, sometimes involving thousands of people, continued in the area for five more days, flaring up at one point after the Village Voice published its account of the riots.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the LGBTQIA+ community against police raids. They served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

It has been a fight and a delightful fight ever since our ancestors rose and fought injustice. Since Stonewall riots, June is called and celebrated as the pride month. I have been questioned a lot of times about why a month for gay people? Yeah, that is what I have been asked. How easily do we forget all other members of community and refer to all of them as “gays”, not that we mind, but we all want our existence to be acknowledged now, don’t we?

So, if we dig deep it initially started as a remembrance to the martyred members of community in Stonewall, and then to stand up for ourselves and our rights. It is like how they say, “You start lowering down your voice, you disappear”. So we take this month, and with heart on ourselves we yell out our pride.

We are humans.

We are normal.

We are queer.

We are here.

For nothing is greater than feeling accepted, so why don’t you all after being such great allies once again let out your hands and befriend all of us, LGBTQIA+, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual.

Also, here is a request –

You don’t have to reciprocate our feelings/notions, just respect. That would enough for now. How hard can it be respecting someone just because their way of living is different than yours? And after all we are India, we are known of our diverse culture, accept your diversity!

Pride is not just a hashtag, not just a trend. Read more about it, ask your queer friends!! Have a wonderful months!

Happy Pride to you all!

More power!