Freedom isn’t free

// June pride events honor the day gay people stood their ground

Gay communities across America take to the streets every June to commemorate an historic event that not only changed America but also sent a clarion call around the world for gay people to be brave and not hide in shame anymore. It was the Stonewall Riots of 1969, and it happened one memorable summer night in New York City.

A popular gay bar in Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn was one of the few places where gay people could gather away from prying eyes and the very real dangers that lurked just outside the door – namely the New York City police. It was common practice for the men in blue back in those days to target gay people with vicious beatings and jail time for violating morals statutes and this was certainly the case for patrons of the Stonewall Inn. For years this went on while the police took cash pay-offs from the bar owners, which in the case was the Mafia. (In Seattle, owners of gay bars in the 60s still remember loading cases of liquor into police cruisers as payment for “protection.”)

Greenwich Village residents, and patrons of the Stonewall Inn, grew increasingly angry over the routine police raids and physical assaults, not to mention the ties between the Mafioso and the cops. Soon their rage reached the boiling point. Officers bit off more than they could chew when they raided the Stonewall Inn during the early morning hours of June 28, 1969.

This time, and for the first time in recorded history, gay people stood their ground and fought back against an intolerable situation. Night after night violent protests erupted and Greenwich Village was set ablaze with fires. Hordes of people arrived in a constant flow to seize the streets and make their voices heard.

With neither side backing down, the situation escalated to a fever pitch. Such open rebellion by gay Americans had never been seen before. Village residents formed the nation’s first openly gay activist organizations and held a massive, boisterous march through New York City to assert the end of the persecution. Shouting “Out of the closet and into the streets!” gay communities joined other national civil rights movements that were effectively creating change in the 60s and 70s.

The Stonewall Riots today stand as the forebear to gay pride festivities every June. Within just a few years of grabbing headlines, Stonewall galvanized gays and lesbians from coast to coast into a cohesive community that developed its own culture and identity. And most importantly, Stonewall ignited the modern gay rights movement that continues to help America evolve in its attitudes toward same-sex love and fairness to all citizens for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

July 10

LGBTQ PROCLAMATION AT CITY COUNCIL
5pm
Tacoma Municipal Building - 747 Market St.

July 13

RAINBOW PRIDE FLAG RAISING
4 pm
Tacoma Municipal Building, below flagpole on St. Helens Ave.

PRIDE KICKOFF!
Opening event sponsored by Pride Foundation, Washington United for Marriage, B2 Arts Gallery. Featuring the Rainbow Awards.
4:30-6:30 pm
B2 Arts Gallery - 711 St. Helens Ave., Suite 100

PIANO AND VOCAL CONCERT WITH XADE WASH
Will include popular favorites, ballads and spiritual pieces.
7pm
First United Methodist Church
621 Tacoma Ave. S.

July 14

BRUNCH AND “OUT WITH GOD” WORSHIP SERVICE
Christians gathering to eat and celebrate God's love and the joy of safe congregations.
10 am
First United Methodist Church
621 Tacoma Ave. S.

OUT IN THE PARK: THE RAINBOW CENTER’S ANNUAL LGBTQA PRIDE CELEBRATION
Noon to 5 pm
Broadway between 9th and 11th

THE MIX’S 4TH ANNUAL PRIDE BLOCK PARTY
Featuring Kim Archer; Divas from “RuPaul's Drag Race,” local bands, singers and entertainers
5-10 pm
The Mix - 635 St. Helens Ave.

OASIS YOUTH CENTER BBQ
Free BBQ and fun games. Open to LGBTQ youth ages 14-24. Drug and alcohol free.
6 pm-Midnight
For location call (253) 671-2838 or e-mail oasisyouthcenter@gmail.com

July 15

FAITH MESSAGES OF EQUITY & EQUALITY ACROSS TACOMA
A citywide message encouraging faith communities in Pierce County to focus their worship services on equality and equity in an act of solidarity with the Tacoma Pride Festival.
Sunday Morning
Faith Communities Across Tacoma

INTER-FAITH PANEL DISCUSSION AND FAITH FAIR
The 2nd annual faith dialogue will feature persons currently active in faith and equality work in Tacoma and will focus on how persons of faith can better advocate for a more just world. A faith fair will be held after the dialogue.
1:30 pm
Urban Grace Church - 902 Market St.

THERAPY SUNDAY AT THE MIX
Meet with friends, new and old.
2 pm – 2 am
The Mix - 635 St. Helens Ave

July 16

“PUT THIS ON THE MAP”
LGBTQ documentary made by Queer youth, with a panel discussion featuring director Sid Peterson
7 pm
Tacoma Public Library - 1102 Tacoma Ave. S.

“QUESTION ONE”
A documentary film on the Battle for Same-Sex Marriage in America
2 pm & 6:45 pm
Grand Cinema - 606 S Fawcett Ave.

July 17

“CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME”
A hilarious date movie for couples of all orientations. Tongue firmly in cheek, this lesbian sci-fi comedy lovingly spoofs the black-and-white B-movies of yesteryear.
2 pm and 6:45 pm
Grand Cinema - 606 S. Fawcett Ave.
July 18
“CLOUDBURST”
A lesbian couple escapes from their nursing home and heads up to Canada to get married, starring Olympia Dukakis
2 pm and 6:45 pm
Grand Cinema - 606 S. Fawcett Ave.

CELEBRATE LABOR WITH PRIDE @ WORK
The Pierce County LGBT community is welcome to join us for a reception in the main lobby of the IBEW 76 Hall. Labor leaders, union members, and elected officials from throughout Washington State will join us in honoring LGBT leaders within the union movement.
6-8 pm
IBEW 76 Hall - 3049 S. 36th St. - Suite 101

July 19

QUEERING YOUR BOOKSHELF!
Join sweet pea from King’s Books and Matt Lemanski from the GLBT Book Club as they discuss their favorite queer reads.
7 pm
King’s Books - 218 St. Helens Ave.

STAGED READING OF LANFORD WILSON’S “FIFTH OF JULY” DIRECTED BY DAVID FISCHER
A funny and poignant story about a crazy Midwestern family trying to reconstruct upon the return home of a family member wounded in Vietnam, Ken, who has returned to his childhood home and is living with his boyfriend.
Post show discussion: "After Don't Ask Don't Tell: Creating a More Inclusive Military"
7 pm
Broadway Center for the Performing Arts: Studio 3 - 901 Broadway

July 20

STAGED READING OF LANFORD WILSON’S “FIFTH OF JULY” DIRECTED BY DAVID FISCHER
Post show discussion: "Before Stonewall: LGBTQ Elders Remember Tacoma
7 pm
Broadway Center for the Performing Arts: Studio 3 - 901 Broadway

MPOWERMENT TACOMA SOCIAL
Come and socialize with Mpowerment Tacoma and the Sisters for Perpetual Indulgence: The Abbey of St. Joan. There will be prizes, a sexy raffle drawing and performances
9 pm
The Mix - 635 St. Helens Ave

July 21

OASIS PROUD OUTLOUD
An evening of dinner, desserts and performance celebrating LGBTQ Youth
7-9 pm
Pantages Theater - 901 Broadway

Tacoma Pride Festival 2012

Sponsored By: City of Tacoma, BECU, Click! Cable TV, FUZE, Key Foundation, The Mix, Met Meds Pharmacy, Carol Milgard Breast Center, Hotel Murano, McKinley Irvin, Curran Law Firm, Gender Alliance of the South Sound, MetLife, Pierce County AIDS Foundation, Pride Foundation, St. Joseph – St. John Episcopal Church, Union Avenue Compounding Pharmacy

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