US: Five Key Moments in Queer Activism, from Stonewall to Today

Last week, just days before the start of World Pride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York, them. gathered friends and family for an intimate seated dinner in honor of our amazing slate of Queeroes. While munching on delicious food, attendees shared stories and endless cups of wine, basking in the camaraderie of their queer peers. The dinner eventually evolved into a full-on dance party, as more friends showed up to get down to the eclectic sounds of DJ trio Papi Juice’s Oscar Nñ, Mohammed Fayaz, and Adam R. The night was topped off with special performances by rising London-based pop star Rina Samayama and rapper/artist/poet/activist Mykki Blanco, who utilized every inch of space available in the Angel Orensanz Foundation synagogue — making his way through the crowd to start a vogue circle in the middle of his set and climbing up to the second floor of the building, where he ended up hanging over the banister, a little later.

But this night wasn’t just about us. It was about celebrating everyone in our community, including those who are no longer here to celebrate with us. It was about noting the progress we have made thus far while also preparing for the strides we're prepared to make in the years to come. As such, we recruited Hugh Ryan — a queer historian, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer, and frequent them. contributor — to write speeches that recounted crucial moments and honored key figures in our community’s history. They were read by Queeroes honorees Yulan GrantJeremy O. Harris, and Kay Ulanday Barrett, and them. staffers Whembley Sewell and Tyler Trykowski. Each spoke to a specific decade — starting with the 1970s and ending in today’s 2010s present — and each served to remind us that Pride extends far beyond the month of June; it resonates throughout history. As Hugh himself put it, “It is a tree whose roots stretch back into infinity.” Check them out below.

  • Stonewall

  • 1970s: Combahee River Collective

  • 1980s: Gran Fury

  • 1990s: SONG (Southerners On New Ground)

  • 2000s: Sylvia Rivera Law Project

  • 2010s: Queer Asylum Seekers

    Read the speeches via