The timing of this violation rather struck us on a day that celebrates diversity and civil rights.
So let’s talk about that...
Peaceful Protest and Inter-sectional Activism
While not every activist in the 1960’s was friendly to black people, many black and white voices united for LGBTQ rights.
Before Stonewall was the BCSL protest (Black Cat Demonstration in Silver Lake).
At the time of Stonewall, kissing a same-sex person in public warranted a sexual offense in California. Activists gathered to respond to an unjust police raid on New Year’s Day where many people were arrested for kissing their partners.
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King's influence in future LGBTQ movements
when LGBTQ and black rights are on the table. Black queer people have been contributing to King’s dream of equality since day one.
Although Stonewall was not a peaceful protest, it helped build a foundation for all people to be safe regardless of color, gender or sexuality. It started with a black trans woman's shoe.
In 1969, Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, among many others, were victims to a string of
wrongful raids in gay bars and other safe spaces.
Johnson, a black trans*woman, is most often credited with being the first to resist the police violence that night, which included exposing people’s genitals and groping lesbians.
After the riot Johnson and Rivera founded STAR, which helped young, homeless transgender people—with a focus on black youth—get off the street.
TheTrans Therapists of Color Network carries on STARs work and specializes in inter-sectional therapy to ensure black and other under-served communities get the mental healthcare they deserve. You can find them on our resource database.
King's Spirituality and Religious LGBTQ people
His spirituality influenced his identity greatly as an activist. The second Selma march was punctuated by King stopping when met with state troopers to kneel and pray. He is quoted as saying “the holy spirit revives my soul again”.
Many LGBTQ people struggle with reconciling their faith and sexuality or don’t know where to start if they come to realize they are a spiritual person.
The Unitarian Universalist Organization, a national spiritual community who championed MLK's work in civil rights as part of their doctrine, also strongly LGBTQ activism and provide a safe place for any person struggling with housing, religious conflict, or finding community.
I'd like to end this by saying we've mentioned a lot of resources and I'd be remiss as the resource database coordinator if I didn't say you can find ALL of these resources on our database here.