Forty-three years ago today, a brick left the hand of a drag queen at the Stonewall Inn to strike a police officer, launching a three-day riot and a movement for LGBT equality. Since that time, the LGBT community has come a long way, and we still have a long way to go, but for today, we at Rainbow Roots are saluting the memory of the men and women—gay, bi, and straight—that have come before us, fought for our rights, and died for the freedoms we now enjoy.
For centuries, we were hunted, ostracized, and forced to live in hiding. Men that loved other men and women that loved other women kept their relationships secret, if they even dared to let themselves fall in love at all. But with the launch of that one brick, that small act of defiance, it triggered a great awakening for LGBT people across the globe. It was time to stand up, time to fight. For some the media coverage of the Stonewall Riots was the first time they put a name to the feelings they’d suppressed all their lives. A movement was begun, and men and women, doctors and lawyers, brick layers and carpenters, soldiers and secretaries, stood up, came out, and began living out in the open.
Since then, we’ve had political leaders assassinated, we lost nearly an entire generation of gay men to disease while the world watched. Negative narratives in the press and death threats abounded. But the extraordinarily ordinary men and women of the LGBT community carried on. They fell in love, they went to work every day, paid their taxes, and raised their children, but the threat of reprisal from a world not ready for them loomed always on the horizon.
Today, while things aren’t perfect, the march toward equality is steady. We at Rainbow Roots are proud to share another side to LGBT culture not seen by most, stories that have for so long been forbidden the public eye. We tell the stories of the hardworking, honest LGBT families who make our community strong. The love our couples have is undeniable, their courage and strength evident in their faces. We are proud to share their lives with you, but we know that a project like this wouldn’t have been possible ten years ago. It wouldn’t be possible without the sacrifice of those that came before. So, today, we’re thanking them for the struggles they didn’t give up on, and we’re thanking you for your continued support.
The Rainbow Roots Team