On the 53rd anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the Party for Socialism and Liberation is proud to march and rally with the LGBTQ community in celebration of the gains made over the decades and commit ourselves to continued struggle for equality. Those gains came from generations of militant struggle that fought to overturn the bigoted and highly restrictive view of human sexuality and gender dominating society.
We need to look to this history for the strategy and tactics needed to defeat the current anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ campaign by the right wing. The ultra-conservative bigots are organizing to pass laws at the state level eliminating any mention of queer people in school curriculums and criminalizing medical workers and even parents and guardians for providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth. These efforts to erase history and deny trans people the healthcare and support they deserve will only cause pain and anguish.
These laws are part of a society-wide campaign to demonize and criminalize LGBTQ people. This has created an environment that encourages bigoted violence. The result is in 2021 there were at least 57 murders of transgender people — more than double the number of murders in 2016.
These homophobic bigots don’t speak for the vast majority of people in this country who support LGBTQ rights. They are like the anti-abortion misogynistic bigots and often are one and the same people. Whether it is attacking queer, trans, or reproductive rights, they represent a minority view in society. While over a dozen states are poised to enact “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, more than two-thirds of people in this country support equal rights.
The bigots’ impact is disproportionate to their numbers because they are funded by a section of the tiny class of billionaire corporate owners, the ruling class of this capitalist society in which we live. This ruling class wants to turn back the clock on the gains made by the social movements of the 1960s and 70s, so they create an environment that encourages the attack on queer people, abortion rights, the voting rights of the Black community, and more.
What is the solution to this war on basic rights? It is to disrupt business as usual as AIDS activists did at the New York Stock Exchange in 1989, like LGBTQ activists who got arrested at county clerks’ offices demanding to get married and immigrants in the millions who marched in 2006 to stop racist legislation. It is to take to the streets, in the spirit of Stonewall, in the millions, like was done in 2020 that got the killer cop who murdered George Floyd sent to prison.
We cannot place our future in the hands of the Democratic Party, whose answer to the attacks on the queer community or any other crisis is to get out the vote and keep them in Congress as the majority. They want us out of the streets.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation believes that we must stay in the streets — that is where our strength is seen, felt, and heard. Stonewall means fightback!