It’s June, so what else could it be but PRIDE month? (insert all the LGBTQ+ emoticons here!)
Those riots at Stonewall in 1969 (yes, we said plural, RIOTS!) were lead by LGBTQ+ POC and we should NEVER forget that. Marsha P. Johnson, a Black woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a Latinx woman, were at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots. Without them and other brave LGBTQ+ activists, we wouldn’t have Pride as we know it today.
Back in May, Mia and Kari were fortunate to visit New York City, and the Stonewall Inn was the top of the list of things they HAD to see while they were there.
We took the subway from the Upper West Side to Christopher Street, located in the Greenwich Village section of Lower Manhattan. The subway stop is right across the street from the Stonewall Inn, and we were amazed to see a permanent rainbow crosswalk located at the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue South. A garden/statuary area across from the Stonewall Inn, called Christopher Park, is the official Stonewall Monument – the only LGBTQ+ monument – in the United States.
There are historical markers located on the building outside that look like this:
When you walk into the front door, the first thing that grabs your attention is this huge sign that has been framed, to your right:
We’ve come a long way since the Stonewall Riots.
The inside of the Stonewall Inn is familiar to us southerners with it’s extensive wood decor that we’re used to seeing in our historic homes. There are all kinds of Pride flags everywhere….except the Pansexual flag! That was the ONLY one we didn’t see.
You know we had to sample the Stonewall libations! Here’s the Old Fashioned that Mia had at the bar, which was so inviting with great music (DUH!) and multiple TV screens.
Turns out we weren’t the only native Alabamians visiting the Stonewall Inn that day, and that alone gave us hope.
Pride in Montgomery is in its infancy. We are very proud to say that the first “real” Pride event/parade in Montgomery was planned at the POWER House! As we move forward with the local LGBTQ+ community, we knew we had to make a special statement this year for Pride at the POWER House…the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
This year, we are flying ALL PRIDE flags (except for the US flag) at the POWER House during June. You’ll find our trans* flag, a brand new Pansexual flag (the only one missing at Stonewall!), and a special version of the Philly LGBTQ+ flag. We chose this flag instead of the regular Philadelphia flag we fly all year because it shows the traditional “power” fist in colors that represent the POC LGBTQ+ community. Without them, we would not have “PRIDE”, and we honor them by flying this flag in the Birthplace of Civil Rights.
It is also a shout out, or a “WE SEE YOU” statement, to local POC lead LGBTQ+ organizations in Alabama like our friends at TKO – The Knights and Orchids Society, based in Selma. We also wish to show our allyship and belief that as a white led organization, we are here to utilize our white privilege for our fellow Alabamians, and stand with ALL of our LGBTQ+ southern brethren, and….we WON’T BACK DOWN.
We hope you’ll join us at Montgomery Pride this year! Check out all of the local LGBTQ+ events in Montgomery here, and be sure to stop by our booth while you’re there!
Happy Pride, Y’all!