Analysis

52 years after the Stonewall Uprising, the spirit of resistance lives on

Especially during Pride month, fighters for the liberation of LGBTQ people reflect on the state of the struggle. There is no doubt that right wing bigots are on the offensive in many parts of the country, introducing and in many cases passing vile legislation at the state level with a special focus on targeting transgender youth. But acts of resistance large and small are challenging the bigots every step of the way.

When a bakery in Lufkin, Texas put out a pro-Pride cookie, the bigots went berserk. Then, people from all over town came out in solidarity and bought all the cookies in the store in response. 

When an 11-year-old transgender child in West Virginia was banned from a sporting event, the child and her family have gone to court to fight back. Meanwhile, San Francisco Giants players are sporting a Pride-oriented uniform.

LGBTQ youth, along with Black, Latino and Native communities, are the hardest hit by the Covid pandemic. Right-wing state officials in Florida are working to ban rainbow lighting on bridges in honor of Pride. But demonstrations in solidarity are showing that the bigots are not the majority by filling the streets of the country with pro-LGBTQ, anti-racist, and pro-women calls for justice. Communities are saying no way, and full equality for all is in demand from coast to coast.

There is a growing return among LGBTQ people, young and old, to the militant spirit of the Stonewall Rebellion — this historic and righteous rebellion against centuries of violent patriarchal rule against LGBTQ people and women, where countless thousands were killed simply because of their gender or sexual orientation.

Because of the tragic pandemic, many Pride marches have been postponed in cities across the country, but the struggle goes on. In Los Angeles, organizers have formed a coalition to hit the streets with militancy and determination and to further revive the spirit of struggle. On June 26, members of the ANSWER Coalition and the Party for Socialism and Liberation will join forces with La Familia and a broad array of organizations by gathering at the site of another major rebellion — at the Black Cat bar in Los Angeles against police harassment and violence in 1967, two years before the Stonewall uprising. The demonstration will march through the streets calling for LGBTQ equality and an end to racism and police brutality, demanding housing and education for all and money for jobs not war.

Other actions are taking place throughout the country that commemorate the spirit of Stonewall and the Black Cat. The fight back must grow and flourish. Unity and solidarity of all struggles must be at the center. The spirit of Stonewall lives on in the fight for a just and a true democracy, run by and for the working class — gay, lesbian, transgender, queer and straight, Black, Latino, Asian, Native and white. Now is the time, everyone must unite. History is on our side.

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