Stonewall was a riot, Pride as we know it was started by a black trans woman, and Pride Parades are not just an open invitation for cis people to party.
As people around the world celebrate Pride month, it’s more important than ever to remind ourselves where and how these traditions began, and who the founders of the movement are.
First and foremost, Marsha P. Johnson is a name you should know and revere.
Johnson was a transgender activist who led the way during the Stonewall Riots and who co-founded the Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Sylvia Rivera, as well as the Gay Liberation Front.
Secondly, Pride takes place in June to commemorate the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Riots, which began after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a rare safe-house for queer individuals in Greenwich Village in New York City.
These celebrations do not take place each year simply for visibility’s sake, nor do they take place as an open invitation for straight people to party; Pride celebrations are a commemoration of the hundreds of thousands of queer individuals who have suffered persecution and even death in their quest for equal rights and representation.
If you plan on attending a Pride event as an ally, make sure you know you’re history and that you put the experiences of queer individuals ahead of your own pleasure.