LGBTQIA+ History Coronavirus The World

50 years later, the legacy of Pride lives on

The New York City Pride parade has been cancelled for the first time since its origin 50 years ago. In-person events that were scheduled to take place June 14-28, 2020 are in the process of being reimagined virtually as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pride is a staple in New York City, as it has been since the Stonewall Riots prompted a revolution in June of 1969. The fight for gay-rights as we know it was born and catalyzed here. America in the 1960’s, and in the decades that came before it, was not at all welcoming for those in LGBTQIA+ community. In New York, any inclination of sexual activity between people of the same sex in public was considered illegal. That is, hand holding, kissing, or even dancing. This antiquated and ridiculous law was not overturned until 1980 when the People v. Ronald Onofre case was decided. 

These times were also riddled with discrimination and a series of raids among other forms of abuse on prominent gay bars and clubs in Greenwich village. Such spaces were some of the only places where members of the community could seek refuge and were finally able to express themselves openly without worry. Nonetheless, police brutality on the basis of sexual orientation and just plain bigotry was awfully common during these raids.  

On the night of June 28, 1969 obvious tensions arose between the two groups, and the patrons bravely decided to fight back against the police at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar that was one of the few of its kind that opened its doors to drag queens. Notably, the first bottle of the uprising, which lasted six whole days, was thrown by a Black transgender woman, Marsha P. Johnson. The protesters were met time and time again with tear-gas and physical altercations with the police, but they persisted. Those in the street are said to have been singing slogans similar to the ones that we hear today like “gay power” and “we shall overcome.” 

It would be an injustice to ignore the contributions of the Black community to this iconic moment that started a resistance.

This moment sparked the beginning of a modern resistance that is beautifully laced with love and versatility. 

It would be an injustice, however, to ignore the coincidences of this past that align with the current civil rights demonstrations happening across the world, declaring defiantly that Black lives matter. Both movements continue to feature a spotlight on recognizing basic human rights while also condemning police practices that terrorize the communities they are meant “to serve and protect.” So much of American history is patterned with this same struggle, consistency, and perseverance. Not to mention that it was, in fact, Black women who spearheaded this revolution 51 years ago, and 51 years later Black women are again at the forefront of a movement seeking to eradicate systemic inequality. We must not let this go unnoticed.

The year after what has come to be known as the Stonewall riots, June of 1970, marked the first ever Pride parade in New York City. Though it took a long time to come, the LGBTQIA+ community has certainly overcome much of the hate and marginalization that has been thrown its way. But, they’re still fighting. To this day, new non-discrimination protections are being fought for and passed all because of their constant effort and strength. 

Since then, New York City and its Pride parade has been a proven safe-haven for vulnerable and battered communities alike. It is a time for people to come together and celebrate themselves as phoenixes who have risen way above the ashes while also acknowledging the slashed history that they are eternally attached to. 

Just last year, New York City hosted world WorldPride and some 2 million people were in attendance. This in and of itself is a testament to the impact that the revolution has had, and continues to have, all over the world. Such ever-clear and unrelenting perseverance is nothing less of an inspiration. 

Today, as the coronavirus runs its raging course throughout the United States, New York City has been noticeably hit the hardest. With nearly 212,000 confirmed cases and over 20,000 deaths thus far in the City alone, New Yorkers are being urged to remain full of the hope and drive that makes us so thick-skinned in the first place. But, this is not an easy feat, especially given the turmoil that seems to be slowly encapsulating every bit of our daily lives. Once again, we have set out in a movement that looks to challenge history and change it for good. For the LGBTQIA+ community, that anxiety is heightened tremendously. 

The absence of the iconic Pride parade will certainly have a dramatic financial impact on the people and businesses that have come to rely on it. Not to mention the mental toll that will surely come along without a break from mobilizing, resource, or strategy efforts concerning the ongoing, and seemingly never-ending, fight for equal rights. It is certainly an all-hands-on-deck sort of thing. This fight is fought every single day, with the smallest actions sometimes making the most noise, and none of it should go unnoticed. 

The contributions that the LGBTQIA+ community has made to both the City and to the greater struggle for equality are undeniable. So, the decision to cancel Pride this year was not easy. But, it was definitely necessary. However, just because the pandemic prevents us from physically coming together this year, it does not mean that the spirit of Pride in New York City won’t be felt just the same.

An online Global Pride will be broadcasted for 24-hours straight on June 27, starting in the east and moving west. Each local or participating pride chapter is hoped to have an allotment of 15-minutes of airtime each, depending on individual time zones, for performances and speeches by grand marshals. This is a community that has always come together in the face of adversity and this year is no different. My wish is for this to be yet another example of the LGBTQIA+ communities resilience that should be honored and remembered, especially in a context of human rights.

Politics The World

5 terrifying reasons Ted Cruz is the next Trump

l don’t know about you, but the thought of Donald Trump being the next president of the United States makes me want to get on the next flight to Canada. Unfortunately, Trump isn’t the only candidate that makes me want to run for the hills.

Even though Trump has been a very popular Republican candidate, Ted Cruz comes in a close second. In the primaries, Cruz has racked up 545 delegates so far.  The only Republican candidate with more delegates is Trump, who has racked up 743 delegates.

When it comes to Cruz’s campaign strategy, a large part of it consists of him attempting to market himself as the hero that will save us all from Trump. But when you look at both these candidates’ behaviors and beliefs, their differences are very limited.

1. His beliefs are just as conservative and just as ridiculous.

For starters, Cruz is against discrimination protections for LGBT people: he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, voting against it in 2013. As far as his views on women’s issues go, they are just as disappointing. Cruz was one of eight senators to vote against the recent re-authorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also anti-choice. Cruz’s understanding of modern day birth control is definitely lacking as well. Like many former conservative presidential candidates, Cruz believes that Plan B contraceptives cause abortions by preventing a fertilized egg from entering the uterus. This claim has been debunked by many scientists and medical experts. To top it all off, Cruz even has a history of voting to defund Planned Parenthood. 

2. He’s overbearing in debates and not afraid to talk over you.

I’m pretty sure anyone who has watched any of the GOP debates at this point can agree when I say that there have been many petty arguments on stage.

As obnoxious as these candidates are, some have been yelling just a little louder than others. When Trump and Cruz argue, it’s like when two 5-year-old boys fight in their elementary school sandbox.

At the end of the day, does it really matter who started it? Yeah, didn’t think so.

3. If either Trump or Cruz were president, minorities would suffer a hell of a lot.

As well as having very sexist opinions and beliefs, Cruz also has a tendency to be very islamophobic and anti-immigration.While Trump says that there are good Muslims in addition to “bad ones”, Cruz has shown that he has a strong discomfort of the Muslim community as a whole. Cruz appointed Kevin Kookogey, former chair of the Williamson County, Tenn. Republican Party, as the chair of his Presidential campaign. Kookogey oversaw the end of a condemning of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. This was done because Haslam had appointed a Muslim lawyer to Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

When it comes to his views on immigration, Cruz wants to deport all illegal immigrants in the U.S.He also wants to build a wall that will keep future illegal immigrants out. Sound familiar?

4. His supporters’ ignorance is eerily similar to that of Trump’s supporters.

While Cruz’s supporters are different from Trump supporters in some ways, they also have some scary similarities. While Cruz’s supporters are less aggressive and authoritarian, they still hold on tight to their conservative beliefs.A large majority of his following is Evangelical Christians. These Evangelical Christians tend to have very traditional values that are often very problematic. For example, when Cruz ran a very homophobic campaign in Iowa his numbers went way up.So even though his supporters might not be as loud and violent as Trump’s supporters they still support some very harmful ideas.

5. His pride in his ignorant beliefs is just as scary.

Even though Cruz might not be screaming and shouting as loud as Trump is, his bigoted political views are just as bad.  And while you don’t always know whether Trump believes in everything he says or is just pandering, Cruz genuinely believes this stuff. With his runner-up following and very confident composure, Cruz might actually have a chance at the nomination.