By Jordan Moore
Happy Pride Month from Skye Counseling! For Pride Month, it's important to remember the history this month represents. The past few years have been about fighting for queer rights, but especially for trans rights. For this year, Skye Counseling would like to acknowledge important queer activists who identify as trans.
The History of Pride
The start of the gay revolution was the Stonewall riots which started on June 28, 1969. While this event included savage and uncontrollable violence, its purpose was for liberation and rights for members of the LGBT community. There's no absolute history on this event, either, the entire occasion being spontaneous and messy. Still, the crazy and unorganized chaos was a message and that sparked what is known as the gay revolution. The riots also included protests against police brutality of queer people and sex workers. The Stonewall Riots may have ended July 1st of the same year, but the fight for equal rights for queer folks continued on until today.
To read more about the Stonewall Riots being remembered in 2019, click here: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-stonewall-riots-anniversary-older-younger-generations-lgbtq-20190609-4s35habylfgp7nsnoy3dos6al4-story.html
Regarding the history of The Stonewall Riots, Marsha P. Johnson is often the icon people first think of. She was a queer advocate, who often spoke from experience as someone who was trans and a sex worker for survival. Back then, queer people faced a lot of discrimination with jobs and homes, so often had to earn money in any possible way they could. She, along with other women around her, participated in riots and protests that fought for equal rights. Marsha will start us off in our acknowledgments for queer and trans advocates.
Trans Rights Today
While discrimination isn't as bad as it was in the 1960's, it's still happening today and queer people fight for equal rights every day. They fight for rights by making an impact through politics, television, and social media. These acknowledgments feature Marsha P. Johnson, Janet Mock, and Laverne Cox. There are many other advocates like them that fight for equality, but these three women have made a significant impact on the community when it comes to trans rights.
Janet Mock is a well-known activist who fights for transgender rights. A huge impact she had on the community was starting the #GirlsLikeUs movement. Its purpose is to empower trans women of color and to create bonds on social media between trans women so they could feel less alone. Janet Mock is also known for speaking about the violence happening against transgender people. She encourages people to be aware of the violent, and sometimes fatal, attacks that happen to trans people because of their gender identities.
To read an interview done by Janet Mock, click here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/15/janet-mock-id-never-seen-a-young-trans-woman-who-was-thriving-in-the-world-i-was-looking-for-that
"I walk in the world as a woman because I am a woman, and people should take me as that. I'm not passing as anything that I'm not. I'm just being myself." - Janet Mock
Laverne Cox is known as an actress and the first trans performer to be nominated for an Emmy Award in an acting category. Laverne Cox often uses her platform to be a LGBTQ+ adovcate. For every video and interview she's in, she makes time to bring up queer issues or trans rights. She also enjoys answering questions about her transition and body and educating people about what it means to be in the queer community. She speaks about the importance of positive body image and practicing self-love. She also openly talks about her struggles with her body image and her transition. She encourages future generations to love themselves and be who they want to be, as long as they feel beautiful.
To read more about Laverne Cox and self-love, click here: https://www.self.com/story/laverne-cox
"It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist." - Laverne Cox
There are also many resources and organizations that encourage people to be informed and outspoken for trans rights. This includes an ACLU article about how to be an advocate yourself:
At Skye Counseling, we believe in equal rights for people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Pride Month is all about creating an inclusive, safe space for people to feel proud and happy about who they are. At Skye Counseling, we wish to provide the same kind of inclusive, safe environment. For more queer resources, check out our "Resources" page! If you're on the path to recovery and struggle to find help because of your queer identity, contact Skye Counseling and make an appointment with us. Happy Pride Month, everyone! Stay safe!