Saturday, June 27, 2009

From Stonewall to the White House

It was forty years ago, from this very evening, June 27th, 2009, that the Stonewall Riots occurred, the events that would mark the beginning of the modern LGBT liberation movement:

It is not well known, but the Mother of Pride, and the reason the Pride Parades exist, is a bisexual, Brenda Howard.

She even originated the use of the word “Pride.”

Because of her, NYABN will always carry the banner in the NYC Pride March, and will be there, marching proudly in her memory tomorrow. Please come join us in this historical march. We will be meeting around 12:30 PM on 54th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue.

Since that time, LGBT people have been fighting for our rights for forty years. As readers of BiNET blogs know, the last two Democratic presidents have made sweeping promises to us during their campaigns, but up to today President Obama has let us down just as badly as President Clinton did.

Although it is claimed this was planned for some time, they seem to have forgotten to invite anyone until the LGBT community’s fury over the DOMA decision became obvious when many well-to-do LGBT people stayed away from a recent Democratic LGBT fund-raiser. After being hit in the pocket, where it hurts, the President scheduled a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall for this Monday, June 29th, and invited many prominent queer leaders to meet with him at the White House. With the usual bisexual erasure, no bisexual leader who would be representing bisexual issues was invited. This was pointed out, and our own Robyn Ochs and her wife, Peg Preble, were then invited.

Robyn is a Board Member Emeritus of BiNET USA, and will ably represent our issues:

So in forty years, we have gone from having to fight the police outside a Mafia-controlled dive of a bar to an out and proud bisexual woman speaking on our behalf to the President of the United States. It is sad Brenda did not live to see this day, but as Larry Nelson, her long-time partner says “I have been reading all about Robyn going to the White House and just had a thought today, on the eve of the anniversary of her passing, about how proud Brenda would be about this and that it is finally happening.”