June is celebrated in many countries around the world as LGBT Pride Month (or, perhaps a Pride Week or Pride Day during June). Of course there are some locations where another month is selected- whether due to overlapping celebrations or climate considerations.
Although June was selected as it’s the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in NYC, now June celebrations tend to focus on our various communities’ recent successes and current challenges. October has become LGBT History Month in the USA, and some other countries, to honour our heroes of generations past; their successes and sacrifices. October also includes National Coming Out Day, and the anniversaries of the first two National Marches on Washington DC (1979, ’87). Again, some countries celebrate a similar holiday at other times in the calendar.
Last year I posted this list of relevant blog posts for your reading pleasure.
While parades and speeches and online videos may be used to mark important events, I feel that there are more substantial ways to truly honour the folks who have worked so hard for so long, often as great personal cost, to make progress in the fight for greater human rights, equality and fairness.
Please do read the posts I mention above and read (or watch) and share the stories of our elders. But do not stop there; not all our heroes are gone. While I was a month shy of my 11th birthday the weekend of the Stonewall Riots, I am part of the generation that came out and lived proudly while it was still impossible to be an openly gay person and have full access to society.
The decriminalization of gay sex between 2 people (in certain situations) in Canada happened around the same time as Stonewall. But the 1980s Bathhouse Raids in Toronto and elsewhere tested the value of that legislation. The Canadian Human Rights Act with limited protections was passed in 1977, but ‘gay marriage’ did not arrive until this century.
While I’m not adverse to donations as tangible expressions of appreciation for my decades of work as an openly gay/ queer activist (foot soldier rather than in leadership), there are other ways to recognize my work or support other projects near and dear to me.
At the top of my Bucket List is preserving and promoting the political and musical impact of Romanovsky & Phillips; a groundbreaking gay folk duo from 1982-99.
One project toward that aim is the Official Romanovsky & Phillips Lyrical Oracle Deck. The deck is available at a discount through a Crowd Sale at TheGamecrafter, running through October 8th.