June is known as Pride month, a month long celebration dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices, celebration of culture, and the support of LGBTQ+ rights. Throughout the month there are festivals, parades, events, protests and activities in large and small towns all over the world.
Why June? Well let’s go back in time to the 1960s. Back then, it was illegal to be gay or trans in the United States, so members of the Mafia would run underground nightclubs in support of these communities. Police would often raid these nightclubs, arresting trans women and men in ways that were aggressive, discriminating, and violent.
The Stonewall Inn
Stonewall Inn was registered as a type of private “bottle bar”, run by the Genovese mafia family who would bribe the New York’s Sixth Police Precinct to ignore the activities occurring within the club. With this, Stonewall quickly became important to the Greenwich Village area in New York. It was a large location and also cheap to enter, welcoming drag queens who still faced discrimination at other gay bars and clubs around the city.
“Raids were still a fact of life, but usually corrupt cops would tip off Mafia-run bars before they occurred, allowing owners to stash the alcohol (sold without a liquor license) and hide other illegal activities. In fact, the NYPD had stormed Stonewall Inn just a few days before the riot-inducing raid.” (History)
The Stonewall Riots
On June 28th 1969, the police raided The Stonewall Inn, which came as a surprise to the owners and attending members, as they were not tipped off of a potential raid.
“Armed with a warrant, police officers entered the club, roughed up patrons, and, finding bootlegged alcohol, arrested 13 people, including employees and people violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute (female officers would take suspected cross-dressing patrons into the bathroom to check their sex).” (History)
With Stonewall being a beloved and protected symbol for the LGBTQ+ community, during this unsuspected raid people decided to stay outside the bar rather than disperse. Members of the community were fed up with the constant police harassment and discrimination over the years. As events throughout the night continued to unfold, the police and members became agitated and police started aggressively manhandling and further escalating the anger within the crowd.
“At one point, an officer hit a lesbian over the head as he forced her into the police van— she shouted to onlookers to act, inciting the crowd to begin throw pennies, bottles, cobble stones and other objects at the police.” (History)
Shortly after, hundreds of people partook in what became a full blow riot with police officers and few others barricading themselves in the bar that the mob attempted to set on fire. The fire department and riot squad were able to defuse the situation and rescue those inside Stonewall, but the protests continued.
Crowds of thousands of people continued in the riots for five more days. Activists like Marsha P. Johnson were on the front lines of these riots, fighting against the oppression and fear for their lives that members of the trans community faced everyday.
The Stonewall riots did not start the gay rights movement in the United States, but it was a monumental moment that pushed for more political LGBTQ+ activism, the fight for legal and human rights for the community, leading to numerous organizations such as the Gay Liberation Front, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD (formerly Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), and PFLAG (formerly Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
“On the one-year anniversary of the riots on June 28, 1970, thousands of people marched in the streets of Manhattan from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park in what was then called “Christopher Street Liberation Day,” America’s first gay pride parade. The parade’s official chant was: “Say it loud, gay is proud.”
In 2016, then-President Barack Obama designated the site of the riots—Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks—a national monument in recognition of the area’s contribution to gay rights.” (History)
Now every year, June is dedicated as Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots and continue to celebrate, uplift, support and spread love for the LGBTQ+ community around the world.
ActivKare Supports the LGBTQ+ Community
At ActivKare, we proudly support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Our products can help a very specific community of those who have transitioned and undergone Sex Re-assignment Surgey (SRS).
In a previous blog, The Impacts of SRS on Urinary Habits we highlight how SRS can cause symptoms of incontinence for those who have undergone male to female (MTF) and female to male (FTM) surgeries. We also discuss how there is little to no resources or guidance available online or by doctors on how to handle incontinence for transgender individuals.
We want to provide support and knowledge of incontinence to these members of the community, and let them know that our products are not just for one demographic.
At ActivKare we accept and celebrate the diversity of our clients and staff and ensure that everyone is treated with kindness and respect regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, or gender - encouraging our clients to live.life.freely.