This year marks the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Pride March. But for the first time in its storied history, “The March was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after that inevitable announcement, theOUTfront realized that in the spirit and resilience of the Stonewall Uprising, “Pride Marches On!”
Celebrating Stonewall50 last year with guest contributors surpassed our expectations and reader response. In preparation for this year, we again began assembling another talented and diverse group of contributors to create “Pride Marches On!”
What we didn’t expect was the horrific and racist violence we’ve all witnessed perpetrated on the Black Community or the grief and outrage engulfing our nation. The lives lost and gut-wrenching protests have weighed heavily on our hearts and minds forcing us to reexamine and reconsider if or how to mark Pride 2020.
Our Community’s fight for equality stands firmly upon the achievements of the Black Civil Rights Movement. If not for their battles lost and won paving the way, it’s safe to say we wouldn’t have come as far as we have today. What’s more, if not for LGBT+ African Americans like Bayard Rustin,who first taught the precepts of nonviolent protest to MLK and was one of the principal organizers of “The March on Washington,” it’s hard to say how far the Civil Rights Movement would have gone.
One of the most recognized people of the Stonewall Uprising was Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender Black woman and activist who died in 1992 under suspicious circumstances but is still listed as suicide. Along with Marsha is Stormé DeLarverie, known as “The Rosa Parks of the Gay Community,” and before them, legendary Black comedian and Civil Rights activist, Moms Mabley whose fearless comedy tackled issues of racism, social justice, and sexuality while living openly as a lesbian beginning in the 1930s.
When Dr. King said, “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” It wasn’t a preacher’s passionate rhetoric; it was the truth, especially between our communities.
The first “March” in 1970 was a protest for “Gay Liberation” just like the Black Lives Matter protests 50 years later. In solidarity and the spirit of protest theOUTfront is moving forward and “Pride Marches On!”
Many of last year’s incredible contributors will be back again as well as some new voices who are bringing their wonderful talents to this new March. If there is any upside to actual Pride events being canceled, it’s that many have virtual plans so more of our Community can experience them. We’ll keep you updated on the schedule as details become available.
TheOUTfront will again be celebrating the people who have shaped our Community past and present in their own inspiring words with a daily Twitter series. @TheOUTFront .
New this year our daily #InstaPride series on our Instagram page @theoutfront Give us a follow and we’ll follow back!
Pride is nothing without Community, so we are excited to again be collaborating with fellow blogger and contributor, Randy Slovacek, creator of the award-winning, The Randy Report. Randy is a noted LGBTQ journalist and podcaster. Follow Randy on Twitter @randyslovacek
Finally, while known for being a trailblazing Black comedian, Moms Mabley also recorded one of the most iconic Civil Rights songs of the late 1960s, “Abraham, Martin, and John.” It’s a heartbroken ode to America’s leaders assassinated for their belief in justice, equality, and freedom. May the senseless murders of the unarmed Black Americans lead to the fulfill of their beliefs for everyone in our nation.