Updated: Mar 25, 2020
In an attempt to parade accomplishments of equality, a significant issue with Pride tends to be swept under the rug, leaving thousands of the LGBTQ community left behind in a march towards progression. For this reason, the Vancouver Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement organizes an additional BLM Pride Parade, in remembrance of Stone Wall.
Stone Wall Riots 1969
It's New York City, June 28. It is illegal to have opinions. It is illegal to express sexuality. It is illegal to sell alcohol to "homosexuals". It is a crime to be queer. In the early hours of the day, after a long night of secret freedom, police raids Stone Wall. A small gay bar in Greenwich. The people are tired. Drained of their oppression. Burnt out from the heat of hatred.
The first stone is thrown.
A community comes together to fight for freedom. For the right to love. The riots began, and many had lost their lives. Martyrs on the road to progression. We remember them always.
It is decades since, and in much of North America Pride has become an annual parade of celebration. And yet there is still a bracket of peoples, specifically people of color, who are still living under an oppressive state. Racial inequality exists in many forms, and is not exempt from existing within the LGBTQ community. So why, after all this time is there still a need for BLM to host a March for Pride? Kru Sheska tells Origin Papers;
"It's necessary because the other Pride parade doesn't represent me.
Beyond the idea of it being extremely commercial, it's also attended by a population that doesn't really represent all of the gamma that the queer and trans community is made out of. "
And the division is obvious in the finer details of the event. In comparison to other Pride parades, OP Admin, Tinthi Tembo reveals that there is a significant difference in the amount of corporate and government involvement with the BLM March for Pride, mentioning that the entire event was only allocated a single police car for their protection. Tinthi shares;
"It's not that it's in opposition of pride, but rather not fully aligned."
The march is not meant to highlight a separation of race among the LGBTQ community, but rather to spark the conversation that perhaps full equality has not been met, in hopes of bridging the gap and fully uniting all members of its community.