LGBTQ+: The Long Struggle


Mackenzie Vera, Contributor

The LGBTQ+ community has been struggling for a while, but the only recorded date is about the 1960s. While things have gotten better, there are still people struggling.

Protests for the LGBTQ+ community started happening more and more after the Stonewall riots of 1969, led by a group of gay men, lesbians, drag queens, and transgender women at a bar in New York City. The riot started when people at a bar resisted a police raid.

While it isn’t confirmed who had started the riot, it is speculated that Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, had thrown the first brick or shot glass. Sylvia Rivera and Zazu Nova (also WOC) were also known to be the other two critical figures in the vanguard. Rivera not only resisted arrest when the riots were happening, but she also led many of them that were against the police raid. Zazu Nova was also speculated as one of the people who may have thrown the first brick. Sadly, there isn’t much information on her other than pieces of evidence that say she wasn’t in the Stonewall Inn when the police raided it, though she was seen fighting alongside Marsha. Because of this, it leads people to believe that Marsha had thrown the first brick. After the riots, these three brave women founded an organization called “Street Action Transvestite Revolutionaries.”

White supremacy is found almost everywhere, including in the LGBTQ+ community. While three POC transgender women (and probably more queer POC people) helped to start fighting for the LGBTQ+ community’s rights in 1969, the LGBTQ+ community is still racist toward the POC people. “LGBTQ+ BIPOC community members in San Francisco note that they are less likely to have health insurance or access to health care, are more likely to experience homelessness, and encounter racism on dating apps,” Ariane Resnick says. “People of color may experience homophobia within their racial communities…deal with their parents’ homophobia [and] any difficulties they may face by living in a new country.”

While much has been done to help the LGBTQ+ community, people in the community still experience discrimination. Recently, a bill in Florida called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was passed. This bill bars schools from teaching or discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. “This [will] endanger the safety of our LGBTQ students and adolescents,” Senator Annette Taddeo said during the debate. “We will not stop until this state moves forward and actually values everyone in it–everyone–no matter their sexual orientation.”

To this day, people in the LGBTQ+ community continue to experience homophobia and transphobia depending on how they identify. Whether at school, work, a store, a restaurant, or even when they’re walking their dog, the LGBTQ+ community continues to face much discrimination. Those in the LGBRQ+ community continue to fight for their rights to exist like other people.