It is Pride Month! Coin-Operated Press feels that it is important to hold space for our black community, always and especially now. We are currently a white-owned and operated company, and we want to make sure we speak out about human rights issues while ensuring that we do not silence black voices.
HOW CAN I HELP?
1. KNOW YOUR HISTORY
The Stonewall Inn – Image Credit
Pride Month is about recognising and remembering LGBT history.
The Stonewall Riots took place in New York City in 1969. Police raided The Stonewall Inn (a safe-haven for the City’s LGBT community) in the early hours of 28th June. Homosexuality was illegal at the time and police raids were common….but on that night the LGBT community fought back.
Transgender people of colour were the key people involved in instigating the act of resistance – including, of course, Marsha P. Johnson. Johnson was a popular figure in New York City’s gay and art scenes and co-founded S.T.A.R (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries). She was an outspoken advocate for gay rights.
Other dominant figures of the Stonewall Riots include Sylvia Rivera and Storme Delarvarie. Rivera was a Latina-American gay liberation and transgender rights activist. There are conflicting accounts as to whether Rivera was actually present during the riots, however, In 1973, she famously spoke at a gay rights rally after she and Marsha P. Johnson were banned for making other gay activists “look bad”. She was a co-founder of S.T.A.R.
Marsha P. Johnson is often credited as having “thrown the first brick” at Stonewall. However, Storme Delarvarie was a biracial butch lesbian whose fight with a police officer during the initial raid was, according to many eye-witnesses, the spark that ignited the rebellion. She became known as “the gay community’s Rosa Parks”.
Marsha P. Johnson – Image Credit
The Gay Liberation Front was formed from the uprising in the U.S and was part of the original discussion that created the first Pride event – a protest then called Christopher Street Liberation Day – which took place on 28th June 1970 in New York City.
Some UK activists had been involved with the U.S movement and formed the British Gay Liberation Front, first meeting at the Library of Political and Economic Science in October 1970.
The first UK Gay Pride rally was held on 1st July 1972 in London. While homosexuality was partially legalised in the UK in 1967 the same law didn’t come into force in Scotland until 1981!
Christopher Street 1970 – Image Credit
Today, LGBT rights vary greatly around the world.
- Same-sex acts can still carry the death penalty in at least a dozen countries
- Homosexuality is still criminalised in 68 countries
- Following Trump’s ban, only 19 countries allow trans people to serve openly in the Armed Forces
- Even where homosexuality is legal, there are still laws in place that make it difficult – such as banning Pride parades and arresting those who identify as LGBTQ+ on social media
- Only 28 countries have legalised same-sex marriage
- Brazil, Ecuador, and Malta are the only 3 countries to have banned conversion therapy
- Few countries outside of the UK, Europe, and America allow same-sex couples to adopt children.
While there have been massive strides in LGBTQ+ equality, it is still important to remember Pride: protest, and celebrate.
2.READ LGBT LITERATURE
Here are some LGBT authors you should add to your reading list now!
- Armistead Maupin – Tales of the City
- Leslie Feinberg – Stonebutch Blues
- Audre Lorde – Sister Outsider
- Jackie Kay – Trumpet
- Andrea Gibson – Lord of the Butterflies
- Abigail Melton & Lilith Cooper – Gears for Queers
- Annalee Newitz – The Future of Another Timeline
- James Baldwin – Go Tell It on the Mountain
- Sapphire – Push
- Alice Walker – The Colour Purple
- Mia Mckenzie – Black Girl Dangerous: on Race, Queerness, Class, and Gender
If you can, please consider donating to these organisations and help fund racial justice:
Black Visions Collective
A black, trans, queer-led organisation committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence and shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change.
Reclaim the Block
A coalition that advocates for, and invests in, community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighbourhoods.
An online platform that utilises research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
A not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to exposing root causes of systematic social and environmental issues.
A not-for-profit community interest company, their mission is to increase understanding of gender diversity through creative ways. They work with the trans community and those who impact on trans lives; They particularly specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8-25.
OutRight Action International
OutRight seeks to advance human rights and opportunities for LGBTQ people around the world by developing critical partnerships at global, regional, and national levels to build capacity, document violations, advocate for inclusion and equality, and hold leaders accountable for protecting the rights of all LGBTQ people.
Open Barbers is a hairdressing service, based in London, UK. They offer a personalised and warm haircutting experience – for all hair types, including Afro-textured hair-styling – with a queer and trans-friendly attitude. They work on a sliding scale payment system, meaning clients pay what they can afford (suggested pricing anywhere from £2 – £50).
DON’T LET COVID-19 SHUT DOWN OPEN BARBERS. DONATE HERE.
Pride Support Fist Rainbow Flag – Image Credit
If any of our black community wants to use our platform to share a story, a message, art, anything, please message us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to remain anonymous in anything that you want us to share publicly, that is fine, just let us know!
Stay safe out there!