In 2019, the queer community celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in NYC - the beginning of the modern LGBTQ liberation movement. In the early hours of June 28 in 1969, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were victim to a routine exercise in police brutality as their safe space was invaded. They were rounded up, beaten, and as the arrests started as a collective said 'no more'. Led by women of colour, for the first time they fought back against the establishment and institutions of homophobia that had been crippling the community for decades.
The aftermath of the riots saw LGBTQ people in NYC become organised with an urgency hitherto unseen in the community. As news of the riots spread, queer people began exchanging their feelings of oppression for empowerment as, for the first time, an alternate future free from legislated hatred and bigotry became just visible on the horizon.
Our community has so much to be proud of, and we've come so far since that night in NYC - but oh honey there's still a long way to go.
On this very special anniversary, let's look ahead at the next 50 years in our journey towards liberation. "Queer people everywhere are responsible for queer people anywhere" is a resonate quote from Voices4 founder Adam Eli that perfectly sums up what our next steps as a community should look like. All over the world we're reminded how easily our hard-earned rights can be taken away from us. As we take stock and celebrate this Pride season, let's also rekindle the unanimous sense of urgency that the LGBTQ people of NYC found in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots 50 years ago.
Over the next 3 months, Gay Times Magazine will be celebrating the essence of Pride - featuring voices and experiences of the entire LGBTQ initialism from all over the world. In our first volume, covered by Billy Porter, Valentina and Bretman Rock we're looking at the fluidity our modern community enjoys. With a special extended travel section on everything NYC World Pride, as well as interviews with the team bringing Tales of the City back to Netflix the enduring spirit of the queer community is front and centre.
In an age of algorithms, fake followers and more influencer drama than you can wave an endorsed beauty wand at, Bretman Rock brings refreshing authenticity to the realms of social media. Rising to viral fame as a teenager, Bretman's millions of fans have come to expect far more than beauty and makeup tips, with his unique personality and message of 'living your damn truth' captivating his global audience. We spoke with Bretman about growing up on Instagram, the capital D Drama of the beauty industry, and why Pride is so important to him.
"I’ve always been comfortable with my identity, even when I was in third grade, I went to water play with a two-piece bikini."
As Ryan Murphy's groundbreaking Pose prepares for the release of its second season, we caught up with Billy Porter: the eclectic personality behind show-runner Pray Tell. Billy, like the modern LGBTQ liberation movement, turns 50 in June and speaks on how the community has changed in his lifetime, and why shows like Pose and its depiction of the AIDS crisis are so important for a new generation of LGBTQ youth.
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