Happy Pride Month! This June, the Effing Foundation celebrates the important contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community through the lens of the Pride movement. In many ways, Pride month is an ideal time to reflect on the cultural, social and political evolution of sex-positivity and how that movement has run concurrently with the themes of Pride.
Pride Is A Riot
Pride traditionally traces its origin to The Stonewall Riots (Stonewall Uprising) of 1969, which stemmed from a clash between patrons of a gay bar and New York City police, who were executing a raid on the Stonewall. The uprising led to six days of riots and protests and is considered the beginning of the LGBTQIA+ liberation movement.
At the forefront of this movement were Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two transgender women who were credited as major catalysts of the Stonewall uprising. While not originally credited for their roles as resistors at Stonewall, recent years have brought an awareness of the role these women played not only at Stonewall, but their labor throughout the LGBTQIA+ community. Their recognition has centered the contributions of Black, Brown and Trans people in the liberation movement while decentering Whiteness.
Stonewall Was Just The Beginning
While Stonewall is synonymous with Pride, The first actual Pride events took place June 28th, 1970 in New York, Los Angles and Chicago. These first, formalized Pride events combined the spirit of resistance that stemmed from Stonewall with previous liberation centered events (Reminder Day Pickets). From these origins, Pride has grown into a worldwide movement.
As Pride has grown, it's also had to become more diverse and conscious. Now, there are attempts to represent the full spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community in Pride, creating a sense of inclusiveness that had previously been lacking. As Pride has matured as an event the community has begun to question the presence of corporations and police at Pride, given their mixed histories and lack of support of LGBTQIA+ people (Stonewall was a reaction to police-led violence). Giving a nod to the sex-positive pioneers who helped to form the basis of Pride, this year has brought a renewed conversation about the role kink and BDSM play at Pride events, which is indicative of how multifacted the community has become as it evolves.
Portrait of Marsha P. Johnson, her boyfriend, Joseph Ratanski, and Sylvia Rivera in the 1973 NYC Gay Pride Parade drawn by Gary LeGault.
Discussing Sex-Positivity With Seventh Wave
Earlier this year, Dr. Kit Stubbs and I had a discussion with Joyce Chen from The Seventh Wave about sex-positivity, negotiations, and kink, which are certainly relevant issues to revisit during Pride month. Get the complete interview here.
Supporting Sex-Positivity And Effing
This June, Kit and I also hosted the first Effing Foundation Virtual Grant Cycle info session. Over the course of an hour, we shared information about the upcoming grant application process, which starts September 1, 2021. If you’d like to learn more about applying for an Effing grant, please refer to the Effing Grant Application Resource Guide.
The Effing Foundation is able to provide grant to sex-positive artists and educators because the support we receive through donations. Learn how you can contribute and support our mission to reduce sexual stigma and shame. Thank you for your support.
Carlton Perry (he/him)
Board President, The Effing Foundation