A Thank You Letter on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

This weekend here in NYC we are hosting and celebrating World Pride. Aside from the parade being held on the last day of Pride Month, today is also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

I’m not writing about my experience, or the struggles, or the uphill fight. I simply want to share my thanks to all my friends within the community. I think for the first time since coming out I feel the most proud of that aspect of my life.

Thank you to my friends (the LGBT+ ones specifically) for being able to connect with me about stuff my other friends usually just don’t get or would probably get over real fast. From knowing the queer social media influencers and mini-celebs, to obsessing over their lives and “needing to be friends” with them.

Thank you for being so excited about queer representation in movies and shows, and knowing who’s in them, when it’s coming out, the real-life gossip of whether or not they’re actually queer and then hating when it’s not done well or vice versa.

Thank you for making the gay bars the only bars on a night out. Or being excited for gay events or things like a West Village Pride photoshoot.

Thank you for excessively making fun of being a top or bottom, girls that go to Ellis events, and somehow managing to run into an ex gf, ex hookup, ex of an ex, girl you ghosted on an app (and the list goes on) on a night out because of the size of this small community.

Most importantly, thank you simply for talking about girls, dating women dramas, sex, and inspiring me to be open and in love with who I am and who I love. Your shared experiences, fears, excitements, and relationships help me stay grounded in who I am.

Thank you to everyone I follow online, or know in real life, who creates queer content or is just open about their sexuality and allows me to feel seen. This was the most important and helpful thing for me coming out, and everyone now has so much access making it much easier to see representation, create community, feel understood, and a source for education. It’s become much more integrated into the mainstream which is amazing to see.

Thank you to the people 50+ years ago doing this in their own way during their time, standing up for their rights and lives. I wouldn’t be able to live how I do now (open, happy, loud, and proud) the way I do if it wasn’t for the braveness of all the people in the community during all the fights, marches and protests leading up to today.

Thank you to my girlfriend who is the same level of obsessed, if not more, with queer culture as me and letting that be a very open and common thread in our lives and conversations. Thank you for your comfort and openness with who you are, and allowing me to do the same.

For those who may read this and still not understand or still not know what to say or maybe how to say it, there are truly hundreds of things to read or watch or listen to out there, just do a quick internet search.

These are two videos (one by a LGBTQ+ person and another where a mother of a gay child is speaking at their wedding) that have inspired or touched me in some way.

To those who are scared, feel alone, or feel alienated by who they are (out or not) please remember that you are far from alone and you are far from different. Change your verbiage. This tiny little part of who you are is special, and fun, and fascinating – and it’s celebrated with a literal rainbow of colors all over the world.

Happy Pride everyone!

Glow up from this hat my friend got me, which I wore to Boston Pride in 2016 (?) to my current phone case and equal sign tattoo (2019)

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