Celebrating Pride Month with Stories of Queer History

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month, a time to reflect on the 1969 Stonewall Riots and its impact on LGBTQ+ advocacy throughout the United States. It’s also a month where we discuss the barriers that the community still faces and raise support for organizations who can help. The fight for equity is not over: this year alone, the US sees an ever-increasing amount of anti-trans legislation, currently on the docket for over 30 states.

Throughout all of its facets, the LGBTQ+ community continues to advocate for its members through direct support, collective organizing, and the creation of chosen families. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen the creation of micro-fundraisers to financially support gender affirmation, training groups to empower the next generation of political advocates, social support services through group work and low-cost health care. These mutual aid offerings are made possible by community members who look to center the LGBTQ+ experience in each of its programs.

Listen to Frederick Heather from Out Youth (sponsored by Central Texas), Jorge Gutierrez from Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (sponsored by Annenberg Foundation), and Terry Beswick from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society (sponsored by City of SF OEWD) celebrate and honor Pride.

This mutual aid highlights the importance of individuals uniting under a common cause. When combined with the backdrop of protests against police brutality and local communities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, mutual aid has become an understood concept for large swaths of the American public - reminding us if institutions continue to fail its people, the people can demand more of its institutions, while providing that support amongst itself. After all, Stonewall was a riot to push back on systemic police brutality and bias, led by Black and Brown trans women.

Throughout the month of June, Catchafire will lift the work of LGBTQ+ organizations in the US. Our theory of change is simple: We believe that community-led nonprofits know their needs best, and that the power to choose leads to successful outcomes. The LGBTQ+ NPO community exemplifies this best, and we are proud to support their work by providing the tools and talent they need to make their impact spread like wildfire.

There are endless ways to celebrate our identities, honor LGBTQ+ history, learn and push for equity and justice for all in the community beyond the month of June.