Happy Golden Anniversary!
This year commemorates 50-years since the “Stonewall Uprising” and “we are glad about it!” The spontaneous demonstrations of rebellion that began on the night of June 28, 1969 and continued through the next six days changed the course of “LGBTQIATSNBGNC +” history forever. “Stonewall 50” as it is being called marks an epoch in “LGBTQIATSNBGNC+” community life for having launched the modern “LGBTQIATSNBGNC+” civil rights movement. It honors a powerful legacy of celebrating hard fought victories; and signifies a commitment to the ongoing fight for “LGBTQIATSNBGNC+” rights worldwide. So, let’s not worry what tomorrow may bring and joyfully bask in the glow of celebrating this “Golden Jubilee – Stonewall 50 Anniversary”; but, just for today!
Undoubtedly, though, we are commemorating “Stonewall 50” against the current backdrop of an atmosphere of “Trickle-Down Hate”. Consequently, this year’s commemorations, pride festivals and parades take on poignant meaning, yet is buoyed by the words of an old hymn…
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done”.
What are those blessings? Well, to name a few, over the past half-century, we have ridden the currents of the post-Stonewall Uprising, including: the AIDS Pandemic; “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policies; Same-Sex Marriage battles fought and won; the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando; the onslaught of violence against Transgender bodies; but then, in New York State, we are beneficiaries of the passage of GENDA (Gender Expression Non -Discrimination Act).
Admittedly, however, nothing’s changed much. The stakes are high as ever because the heartlessness of GOP conservatives and the hate-filled and unloving spirit of the evangelical base that rallies around Donald Trump is real and it is palpable. Nevertheless, just as the “LGBTQIATSNBGNC+” community has been fighting for 50 years, never putting down their swords, the fight will continue until all of us experience equity and equality. After all, God still works, and we are emboldened by leaning on these words:
“So, put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, just stand”
So, again, I say, let’s not worry what tomorrow may bring and joyfully bask in the glow of celebrating our “Golden Jubilee – Stonewall 50 Anniversary”; but, just for today! Be Safe and have a Happy Pride….
Reverend Gale Jones, Executive Pastor