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Queer Edge Pride 2024

Happy Pride Month! Leave it to the gays to pick the best month of the year to celebrate our queer identities, joy and community. Now, although this month can feel a little… commodified and tokenistic, Queer Edge believes the best remedy for this is surrounding yourself with a community who truly makes you comfortable to be authentically you all year round - not just when the marketing experts deem it profitable to put up a rainbow flag for the month (big side eye).

This article will explore the origin of Pride, from the Stonewall riots to how we continue to advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community to this day.

How Did Pride Start:

Although we now know Pride as a month of celebration, parades, parties and protests, it started as a riot. The 1969 Stonewall riots acted as a catalyst for what we now know as Pride, where a year later marches and protests took place to commemorate the riots. So, why did the riots start in the first place? Back then, not only was it illegal to be gay, it was illegal to serve alcohol to a gay person (they really didn’t want us to have ANY fun). This meant many gay establishments were operating without a liquor license, leaving them vulnerable to violent police raids and brutality. This was a regular occurance in the 60s, however in the early hours of one Saturday morning in 1969, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn decided to fight back against a police raid. It was reported:

 “The turning point came when the police had difficulty keeping a dyke in a patrol car. Three times she slid out and tried to walk away. The last time a cop bodily heaved her in. The crowd shrieked, “Police brutality!” “Pigs!” A few coins sailed through the air…escalated to nickels and quarters. A bottle. Another bottle. Pine says, “Let’s get inside. Lock ourselves inside, it’s safer.”

Main takeaway: Never fuck with a lesbian.

Those who were most vulnerable to arrest were the “obvious cross-dressers” (they may have been referring to trans folk or drag queens) but not much has changed since then. At that time, it was illegal to wear more than three items that did not match your birth-assigned gender. The lesbian, drag queen, queer youth and transgender communities were pivotal in the effort of the uprising and it’s important to note many of the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were people of colour.

The riots lasted several days and is credited to spark the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement.

How it’s Going:

A year later in New York, on the 28th June 1970, thousands of women and men took to march from Greenwich village to Central Park. They called it “Christopher Street Liberation Day”, and similar marches in Los Angeles and San Francisco took place - it was an opportunity to celebrate the queer community coming together and gaining power. Now we have an entire month for marches, parties and protests with New York, LA, London and every major city attracting millions of people every year.

Queer Edge is proud to take part in Pride of London this year - you can catch them at Leicester square main stage where they’ve been given a slot to provide vibes and tunes before handing the mic over to their Charity Partner, Give Out, so they can spread the message on the phenomenal work they are doing.

It’s important to keep the spirit of the first Pride with us always, and that is for the liberation of the queer community - right now our community is still under threat, especially our youth and trans people. That’s why QE are super proud to have partnered with the LGBTQ anti-abuse charity Galop. They help members of the community who deal with domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, conversion therapy, forced marriage and more.

Although queer rights have come a long way since the Stonewall riots, that doesn’t mean our work is done. During Pride month, as joyful as it can be, with visibility comes an increase in the threat of violence and homophobic attacks. Galop have reported that they receive an increase of calls during Pride month, highlighting how the community can suffer the consequences of being in the spotlight as it can act as a magnet for hate and homophobia. It was documented by GLAAD that during the 2023 Pride month, there were at least 145 incidents of LGBTQ+ hate and extremism worldwide, which was 3x the amount of Pride 2022. This included the murder of a woman at a gas station, vandalism, sexual assault and harrassment.

If you or anyone you know within the LGBTQ+ community has experienced or is experiencing abuse of any form and needs support please contact Galop by visiting their website here.

Stay safe, find community and have an amazing Pride!

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