There would be no LGBTQ+ without Black Pioneers, from civil rights activist Marsha P, Johnson to Lori Lightfoot the first black female lesbian mayor.
“Racism combined with the forces of stigma, phobia, discrimination and bias associated with gender and sexuality have too often erased the contributions of members of our society” – David J. Johns. A miniature history lesson on 5 prominent Black lives who’ve had a major impact on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual and Asexual movement. (LGBTQIA is better known as LGBT or LGBTQ+) There would be no gay liberation without Marsha P Johnson, a black drag queen and prominent gay liberation activist. She is known to have helped start the Stonewall Riots in America on the morning of June 28th 1969, and an active member of the Gay Liberation Front that fought for the protection and sexual liberation of all of humanity.
There is one specific woman who stands out amongst the rest, she taught me more about feminism than the feminist movement of today, Aundre Lorde, the more I read of her works the more self-respect I have for myself for she once said “ I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were terrified to speak out because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught silence would save us, but it won’t.” Aundre Lorde is a self-proclaimed ”black, lesbian, feminist, mother, poet and warrior” known for her work titled The Black Unicorn, and Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.
There’s been Stormé DeLarvierie. A brachial, lesbian, a lifelong gay rights activist and drag performer, who sadly passed in 2014. Prior to her participation in Stonewall, DeLarverie was a groundbreaking drag performer whose publicity photographs show a dandyish approach to zoot suits and black tie.
James Baldwin a writer and social critic renown for a lecture titled Race, Racism and the Gay Community. Balwin was one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, He broke new literary grounds with the exploration of racial and social issues. He was especially known for his essays on the black experience in America Lastly, the Queen and all-round Superstar RuPaul Charles. In 2018, he was the first drag queen to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. RuPaul paved the way as the first openly gay national television host on The RuPaul Show on VH1 in 1996. The host of RuPaul’s Drag Race has assisted launch the careers of more than 120 drag queens. He was also the first trans face of M.A.C. Cosmetics and, as its spokesperson, helped raise money to generate awareness for HIV/Aids. The initiative has raised over $400 million to date. RuPaul has changed the world through tolerance and representation whilst looking flawless and being true to himself, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love someone else?” He is an avid promoter of self-love. There would be no pride without the contribution of black lives, these are some of the many pioneers that have helped lead the way, let’s continue to support and uplift them for the beautiful humans they are!
Happy Pride Month Lovers!
May you continue to love yourself from your hair follicles to the nails on your toes. Most importantly, stay true to yourself.