Skip to content

Pride Month 2019: Remembering Legendary LGBTQ Pioneers

A brick sidewalk painted in rainbow colors in the Allentown neighborhood of Buffalo, NY.
A brick sidewalk painted in rainbow colors in the Allentown neighborhood of Buffalo, NY. I took this photo in May 2018. It triggers in my mind thoughts of those in the LGBTQ community who came before me.

Happy Pride Month 2019! This year’s celebration marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

I had been out a few years when someone mentioned Stonewall to me.

“What’s that,” I asked.

“Seriously?” They replied.

Since then, I’ve educated myself about Stonewall and about the work and sacrifices of those who preceded me. As a gay man alive in the U.S. in 2019, I get to benefit from the prior struggles of others.

These people, particularly those who lived through the AIDS crisis, fought a war. It was a war about which many didn’t care for years. It was a war with a staggering body count.

If you want to hear about guts, courage, and bravery, listen to the stories of those members of the LGBTQ community who survived the crisis.

Something to Note for Pride Month 2019

The fight isn’t over, though. For example, transgender people continue to be targets of violence and open discrimination. Still, in 26 states, your employer can fire you for being gay, including my home state of Missouri.

Fifty years have passed since the Stonewall riots. A lot has changed for the better. And we should spend Pride Month 2019 celebrating these accomplishments.

But it’s also worth noting that for those of us who believe in inclusivity and acceptance, the work must continue.

By the way, I chose to use the photo above because looking at it reminds me of those who came before. I took the photo in May 2018.