“If we don’t write our own history, someone else will and we won’t like what they had to say.”
Trevor Hailey, the late Castro Street Historian
June is upon us and it’s Pride month; but I believe we celebrate our unique presence in the world everyday, Pride is also about history, I remember those early years the first “Gay” parade I marched in 1970, we marched unceremoniously through San Francisco’s Tenderloin (don’t remember the street) and down Polk St. many people on the street cheering, many booing at us and yelling “Queer” and “Faggot.” I’ve been a witness to our history and I’m a tired old queen now, but here we are 45 years later, I never thought I’d see the day of our realizing equality and acceptance.
The accomplishments of our struggles have spread throughout the world, making life easier for younger generations. However, our worldly acceptance comes at a price; LGBTQ culture is being assimilated and we are becoming too mainstream, so beware of the anti-gay backlash from those that hate us, you know who they are, they would not hesitate to take away our civil rights given the chance. As part of the defense in protecting our hard won struggle for equality, it’s important to celebrate our culture, keeping it alive and documenting our LGBTQ Heritage through; historical preservation, photography, art, literature, performance, film, political activism, government involvement and voting.
Preserving our history is probably the most valuable cultural asset we have.
Early Pride photos, 1980.