By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.
As Pride Month 2023 draws to a close, today’s Supreme Court decision allowing businesses to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people has cast a dark, horrifying, and ominous, shadow over the future for our Community. Not that this ruling wasn’t expected from the day SCOTUS first announced it would hear the case, but it is shocking nonetheless now that it is here.
Related Post: “Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of LGBTQ Discrimination”
Perhaps what is most frightening is not knowing where the high court’s reversal of more than half a century of hard-fought LGBTQ civil rights will end. With several of its justices bereft of ethics and compromised by billionaire ultra-conservatives, the desire of Evangelicals, Southern Baptists, Mormons, MAGA, and the GOP to see our heritage and existence diminished out of existence is a very real possibility. If that sounds like hyperbole, German Jews in the early 1930’s thought the same thing.
As we try to recover from the shock and outrage of this decision, it will take a while to process what all it means and form an action plan to fight back in a powerful force, as a unified Community. In the meantime, there are things we can do right as individuals to protect and preserve our LGBTQ legacy for the future.
With a $1M grant from Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the tech behemoth, the NYC LGBT Community Center began the “Stonewall Inn Project” in 2017. The LGBTQ history project, run by The Center in conjunction with the National Park Foundation, set out to record and preserve the accounts of the Stonewall riots in June of 1969; the birth of the LGBTQ Community; and its fight for civil rights.
The digital project put the call out to the Community asking for their stories and historical items in an online video, and in 2019 as part of the “Stonewall 50” celebration, Stonewall Forever, a Living Monument to 50 years of Pride, went live as a growing testament to the trails and triumphs of the LGBTQ Community.
Asking visitors “to explore the history and add your piece to the monument,” the digital tribute to our Community is a dazzling, three-dimension, 360 experience welcoming visitors into an audio-visual collection of individual stories erupting into a virtual rainbow of unity. It’s simply awe inspiring, both for the historical legacy it preserves but its brilliant design and presentation.
At a time when our history, stories, families and lives are being erased, this living digital record preserves them for future generations. It is always available for anyone to explore and learn anywhere, anytime. Take a moment to visit this incredible record of our LGBTQ heritage; then add your story or message to its vibrant rainbow as an enduring legacy for our future.
Activist, author, and playwright, Larry Kramer said, “We are entitled to our history… I don’t think you can be a people until you have a history.” The American LGBTQ+ Museum will insure our vast history and place in America’s history is preserved and never erased. Currently in the design stage, the museum in New York City, birthplace of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, states its mission like this:
“The American LGBTQ+ Museum preserves, investigates, and celebrates the dynamic histories and cultures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, as well as those of the emergent and adjacent identities among our communities. Using exhibitions and programs, we seek to advance LGBTQ+ equality through the lens of social justice movements, including, but not limited to, race, gender, class, immigration, and disability.
We envision a world in which all people work toward and experience the joy of liberation.”
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Visit the website of The American LGBTQ+ Museum
Additionally the museum states,
“With the support of our loyal Members and donors, we’ll expand our offerings, impacting millions of people with transformative exhibitions, unique programming, enriching educational initiatives, and a variety of dynamic experiences — all through the LGBTQ+ lens.”
By becoming a donor or a Founding Member, you can support the museum literally from the ground up and ensure our history is never forgotten and preserved for generations to come. Founding Members will be listed on the Donor Tribute Wall when the doors open in 2026 and are available for as little as $6/month. To make a lasting impact and protect our LGBTQ legacy donate directly at the link below.
(main image courtesy of OnePulse.org)
Read our previous Pride Month 2023 posts: