The Summer of 1969: A backdrop to contemporary Pride
The contemporary Pride movement began with a violent tipping point between police and unjustly criminalized Queer nightlife patrons in the summer of 1969.
New York City served as a lens into the United States, as similar discriminatory laws were put in place across the nation. After years of patriarchal dress codes, raids, and humiliating searches, the LGBTQ community of New York City became overwhelmed by the hostility of law enforcement. On June 28th, 1969 police raided The Stonewall Inn, a private bottle bar under management of the Genovese crime family.The constant criminalization of LGBTQ culture left many Queer folks with no other choice but to accept the legally dubious arrangement proposed by the Genovese. Many Queer people found their family within Stonewall after escaping parental and spousal abuse. For many, the choice was to lose their family, culture, and freedom or break the law.
On that fateful day, police subjected the patrons to brute force and violating searches, checking their outward presenting sex. The LGBTQ patrons of Stonewall threw pennies, rocks, bricks, shoes, and more to prevent their brothers and sisters from further dehumanization. For the next 5 days the LGBTQ community took to the streets of Greenwich Village to protest the years of oppression.
On the 1 year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, Greenwich village hosted the first LGBTQ rights parade, the Christopher Street Liberation Day parade.Hundreds of people chanted “Say it Loud. Gay is Proud.”
In the following years, activists formed The Human Rights Campaign, GLADD, and PFLAG. As activists, lawyers, and allies fought hard, courts deemed many of these laws to be unconstitutional severely limiting the personal freedom of an American adult to freely love another. Dress codes and sexual anatomy checks fell out of popularity as progressive minds pushed for a more equitable future.
Current civil rights struggles
Today we have progressed in many regards, however, reactionaries still seek to limit the freedoms and safety of LGBTQ peoples. As we continue to fight against discrimination, far right policy makers have created an agenda to undo progress or take advantage of localities that lack specific nondiscrimination policies.
In 2022 alone, lawmakers in almost 40 states have proposed hundreds of anti-LGBTQ laws, many of which affect transgender youth. This trends is likely to make 2022 the most aggressive year of discriminatory polices since the national legalization of same sex marriage in 2015.
Here in Virginia, The Human Rights Campaign condemned the House of Delegates for passing HB753, which could chip away at protections outlined in the Virginia Values Act. Just outside Richmond, Hanover County School Board approved one of the most alienating and discriminatory policies we’ve seen in a while, basically, requiring transgender students to submit an application to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. This bill even subjects students to criminal background checks, unlike their cisgender classmates. The passing of this policy follows a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of transgender students of whom the schools have failed to protect from gender based hostility.
Airington Law is here to help.
For those adversely affected progress may start to feel hopeless. We understand that the constant contention of your right to live freely may feel demoralizing and taxing. This is why we have decided to meet the Virginia LGBTQ community at PrideFest 2022. Many of our team members are personally involved with the LGBTQ and can empathize with the struggles and stigmatization many people face in their day to day lives. Our legal team will be present to answer your questions involving civil rights litigation and more . Our mission is to educate and inspire our LGBTQ community members to seek help when they have been wronged.
It is our honor to participate in Virginia Pride and help carry on the legacy of the lawyers and activists who fought in the decades before us.
We’re prepared to take discrimination, fair housing, wrongful termination cases and more with a full LGBTQ affirming legal team. Despite these alarming policies, Virginians still have the right to equal respect and treatment regardless of gender, sex or orientation. You, as an LGBTQ individual may be entitled to more protections than your employers, colleagues, teachers, and peers may lead you to believe.
Mark your calendars for Virginia PrideFest 2022 at Brown’s Island, 12pm to 8pm.