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The LGBTQ community kicked off June 2022 with a bang with Pride across America! New York remembers the “Stonewall uprisings” from June 29, 1969, and Los Angeles brought back the in-person parade halted by the pandemic two years ago. Unfortunately, a small town in Idaho almost had its Pride Day celebration ruined by a white nationalist group called “Patriot Front.” But thanks to the quick actions of the police force, 31 people were arrested before they could carry out their horrific plan.
Marsha P. Johnson and Sivia Rivera were famously well-known drag queens in the Greenwich community, with a very public coming out. Pride month is a celebration of the courage of people like them who stood up to defy social injustice.
Some say this inspired the first “Gay Pride:” The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City that was raided by the police in 1968. Over six days, the emotions of the LGBTQ community from the Inn and surrounding bars were explosive, and they rioted in protest, much like what happened after Gorge Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is busy making pride month political by implementing laws banning books about gay and lesbian culture. Republican attacks do not stop with books and are even going so far as to stop young transgender athletes from participating in sporting events.
The GOP is stepping up with attacks on gender-affirming health care by making it illegal for people to transform their bodies to their preferred gender.
LGBTQ of Texas shines their Pride Across America with pride celebrations and parades throughout the state for the whole month of June of 2022. Despite the GOP backlash, their Pride in who they are will not diminish.
Johnson was quoted saying that history should not be viewed as inevitable because situations like the ‘Stonewall uprisings’ happen when emotions become heated, which causes people to react spontaneously. For example, when someone is afraid of someone or something, they tend to act impulsively, and too often, those impulses turn violent.
Violent reactions usually stem from a lack of understanding due to inaccurate information. Unfortunately, this is a reality that is rapidly increasing. Johnson and Rivera believed there should be Pride across the country.
There were 45 events scheduled throughout June in Texas. Pride month in 2022 is especially meaningful for the LGBTQ Texans fighting the racist legislation being put forth by the Republican Party.
Anti-LGBTQ Protesters Interrupt Event
On June 11, 2022, an Idaho police chief Lee White announced that a total of 31 people were arrested while exiting a U-Haul van wearing riot gear and charged with conspiracy to commit a riot. But, thanks to the actions of the men and women in blue, the Pride parade went on without a hitch.
The people arrested in Idaho were all reported members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front; Thomas Rousseau, the founder, was among those charged with the misdemeanor. According to the jail records, most of the members charged were from 12 states: Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Michigan, Wyoming, Washington, Illinois, and Idaho.
The courage and bravery of LGBTQ individuals like Johnson and Rivera are celebrated throughout June. It is an entire month dedicated to the strength of their ancestors and the Pride they had for themselves and their community — a time to learn of the triumphs and hardships and draw inspiration from their courage.
There is Pride across America for the gay community for everything they have endured. However, the oppression they constantly face from hate groups stems from the lack of understanding of what it is to be gay, lesbian, or transgender in today’s world.
During June, Pride shines in celebrations of the courage of the LGBTQ for daring to be who they are. However, no one should forget about the Texans being oppressed even more with racial laws aimed at making them go away. These duly elected Republican officials are stuck in the past and can not see a future that differs from their own beliefs.
Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, is signing laws that prohibit teachers from teaching their students about one another’s differences. He has even gone so far as to punish teachers with a bill nicknamed “do not say gay,” where a person can receive a hefty fine for even saying the word “gay.”
The LGBTQ patrons have suffered so much oppression through the years and come so far. The deep red state like Florida is trying to undo progress. But some people will do the right thing, like the Idaho police chief White. Pride is gleaming across America.
Written by Katherine Miller
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Progress Texas: Pride month celebrations across Texas in 2022
Yahoo News: Thousands turn out for LA Pride parade’s return to Hollywood
ABC News: 31 arrested with shields, riot gear near Pride parade in Idaho
National Park Service: Marcha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera