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50 Years of Pride
50 Years of Pride

Every year in June we gather to celebrate Pride. As we step into our fifth decade of celebrations, let us remember those who fought and sacrificed for the rights we now enjoy.

This June marks fifty years since the beginning of the Stonewall riots and the birth of the modern pride movement. Back then we didn't have pride. Being gay, lesbian, or transgender was something you hid from society. We've gained a lot since then but we still have so much further to go.

We remember Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, fighters at the Stonewall riots. We remember Harvey Milk and Matthew Shepard and so many more who were taken from us before their time by violence and hate. We look back on their losses and struggles, and we thank them for their visibility in a time when being queer, being gay, being lesbian, being trans meant nowhere was safe.

We remember Randy Wicker who took to the airwaves and gave us a voice. We remember Michael Dillon who served as a doctor in the US Navy. We remember Bayard Rustin who marched with Dr. King. We remember Dr. Sally Ride who took us to the stars.

If you don't know who these people are, you have some work to do. These are our ancestors. Not by blood but by deed. By identity. They are a part of history. Ours and yours.

Thank you for taking a moment out of your celebrations to remember our past with us. We hope that in doing so you've learned a little of history you didn't know you had, and we hope that this history inspires you to join the ranks of queer history. What will your contribution be? How will you inspire the generations that come after?

With love, and pride, from your friends at Phoenix.

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