Saturday, June 28, 2008

Christopher Street, Gay Liberation Day

On 27-28 June 1969, the Stonewall Riots began, and one year later, gay men and lesbians organized the Christopher Street Liberation Day committee to put on "this first march -- march, militant march, not parade," says Jerry Hoose, a Gay Liberation Front founding member. Chelsea Dreher and Laura Collins, the plaintiffs of Samuels and Gallagher v. NY, add: "The gay pride parade was not a parade when we were involved in it. It was a political statement and a political movement. A march."


Queers United said...

i wish the pride marches were still more of a political statement, its become more of a party

Yoshie said...

Me, too.

It's not just a problem in GLBTQ communities. History tells us that it is very difficult to sustain a social movement after it wins de jure equality (which queers have yet to win completely, but the momentum toward victory is already there). Women, Blacks, and other oppressed communities have won a great deal of what can be won in terms of establishing legal equality. Once movements win legal equality, they tend to go down, for legal equality more or less satisfies the needs of upper strata of the communities that supported the movements. Lower strata of the communities, though, get left behind without their needs for social and economic equality being met.

This is most starkly visible in Black communities: color alone is no longer an insurmountable barrier at the highest level of the US government, but racial profiling, added to economic oppression, has entrapped a larger proportion of Black communities in prisons than before the partial victory of the civil rights movement.