LGBT+ Icons And Events
This year for Pride Month we'll be highlighting key events and icons who played a part in history to move the LGBT+ rights movement forward.
The Stonewall Riots, also known as the Stonewall Uprising began in the early hours of 28th June 1969 when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn. This was a gay bar located in Greenwich Village in New York City. At the time homosexual acts were illegal in every state except Illinois and bars and restaurants could be closed for having gay employees or for serving gay patrons. Accounts vary about what started the events of that night but according to witness reports the crowd erupted after police roughed up a woman dressed in masculine attire. Some believe that the woman was Storme DeLarverie. Two transgender women of colour, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, were said to have resisted arrest and thrown the first bottle (or brick or stone) at the cops. Close to 4 am police retreat and barricade themselves in to the Stonewall Inn. Rioters used a parking meter to break through the door, others threw bottles, rubbish and other objects or made impromptu firebombs with matches bottles and lighter fluid. Sirens announce the arrival of more police officers and squadrons of Tactical Patrol Force (TPF) which were the city's riot police. Sometime after 4 am things started to settle down and amazingly no one had died or was critically injured on the first night of rioting. Despite being torn up by the police, the Stonewall Inn opened before dark the next night and chanted slogans such as "Gay Power". Again the police and tactical units were deployed out where they beat and tear gassed members of the crowd until the crowd dispersed. Several riots continued throughout the weekend and this paved the way for LGBT+ rights to spread as people found themselves to be part of a community. A year after the Stonewall riots New York organised the Christopher Street Liberation March to cap off the first ever gay pride in which they marched up to Central Park with people from the crowd joining them. The frenzy of activism born on that first night at Stonewall would eventually fuel gay rights movements in Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries, becoming a lasting force that would carry on for the next half-century—and beyond.
Justin Fashanu was the first openly gay black footballer in Britain. He was the country’s most expensive black player following his £1 million pound move to Nottingham Forest. Fashanu agreed to an exclusive with The Sun tabloid newspaper to come out as gay. They ran the headline as "£1 m Football Star: I AM GAY" on 22 October 1990. His Brother John paid Justin £75,000 to not come out as gay but, Justin felt that it was better for him to than live in secret. On the morning of the 3rd May 1998 he was found hanging in a deserted lock - up garage which he had broken into. In March 2009 a football team called The Justin Fashanu All stars were named at a special event in Brighton by the FA. The team created in his honour was created by the Justin Campaign, which is a campaign against homophobia in football and promotes the inclusion of openly gay players in football. Also in 2017, Netflix released a film called Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu story.
Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners
Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners is a small group of LGBTQ+ people in London who began to raise money for striking workers in the Welsh Valleys during the great miners' strike of 1984-85. This movement recently achieved a level of fame due to the 2014 film by Steven Beresford, Pride. the LGSM was formed by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) activist Mark Ashton, and his friends, after the two men collected donations for the miners at the 1984 Lesbian and Gay Pride march in London. The LGSM group met up and fundraised in numerous locations, such as the Gay's the Word bookshop. When the group began to grow they moved out of the bookshop and to a larger venue called the Fallen Angel which was a gay pub. In addition to raising approximately £22,500 for the families who were on strike, there were reciprocal visits. The largest single fundraising event that LGSM organised was the "Pits and Perverts" benefit concert. This was held in the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, London on 10 December 1984. The alliance that was forged between the LGBTQ+ community and the Labour party was an important point in progression of LGBTQ+ issues in the UK. Miners' Labour groups began supporting, endorsing and participating in various gay pride events in the UK.
Alan Turing, was an English mathematician, computer scientist, cryptanalyst, theoretical biologist. logician and philosopher. During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government code and Cypher school (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park which produced Ultra Intelligence for Great Britain. This is where he came up with the idea for and electromechanical machine that could find the settings on the Enigma Machine. The Enigma Machine is a type of cipher device developed and was used until the early mid 20th century. Turing played a very crucial part in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the allies defeat the Nazis in various crucial engagements. Professor Jack Copeland has estimated that Turing's work shortened the war by two years and saved over 14 million lives. Despite all the accomplishments, he was never fully recognised as all the work he did was covered by the Official Secrets Act. In 1952, Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts, the Lambouchere Amendment stated that "gross indecency" was a criminal offence in the UK. Turing accepted chemical castration treatment with DES (A form of oestrogen used for hormone therapy and pregnancy support) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954 due to cyanide poisoning, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, an inquest into his death was ruled as a suicide but evidence is also consistent with accidental poisoning. In 2009, following an internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for the "appalling way he was treated." Queen Elizabeth II also granted Turing a posthumous pardon in 2013. Also the "Alan Turing law" is now an informal term for a 2017 law in the United Kingdom that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts. Turing also has an extensive legacy with statues of him, things named after him and an annual award for computer science innovations. He is due to appear on the £50 Bank of England note, which is to be released in June 2021.
Dominique Jackson was born in 1964 or 1965 Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago. Although Jackson grew up with her grandmother who had "station" which refers to the social status that a person holds, that refers to the level of respect and honour according to people, groups and organisations. Jackson still received a traumatic upbringing that included bullying and sexual abuse. She fled to the United States at the age of 18 due to not being accepted as transgender by her family. During her time in the United States, she experienced homelessness and turned to sex work and living off credit cards for survival. In 1993, while living in Baltimore, Maryland that Jackson was introduced to the Ballroom scene. She was the apart of a variety of houses, including Revlon and Allure, before settling into the House of Sinclair in New York City. Dominique did most of her early modelling work for free. However, in 2009 she became a resident model for fashion designer Adrian Alicea and walked for the Mercedes - Benz Fashion Week. She has modelled for Vogue España. She walked for the 2021 Mugler show, along with an transgender star Hunter Schafer. Dominique has also appeared in various television shows and movies, such as; Call Me(2015), Christopher Street: The Series(2009), My Truth, My Story(2015) and Pose(2018-Present). In the series Pose, Jackson appeared as the leading role of Elektra Abundance, which is set in the Ballroom subculture scene in the late 1980s. Pose has on e of the largest cast of transgender actors scripted for a network series with over 50 transgender characters/actors. Jackson went onto continue her role as Elektra Wintour in the second season.