Last Saturday was Pride Day, when LGBTQ folks celebrate the beginning of our civil rights movement, the Stonewall Riot in New York City back in '69. That's when transwomen including Sylvia Rivera started to fight back against police brutality against gay and trans people in New York. That's right, folks. The courageous person who kicked off the movement to gain equality for gays and lesbians was a transwoman.
We've come a long way. Mayor Kitty read a proclamation in celebration, and the city had at least two booths set up, one for the Human Rights Commission, and one for the police. And the police weren't there to keep order or anything, they were there for PR! They handed out jr. police badges to the kids.
The Pride festival was set up as a rough rectangle of booths and vendors, selling everything from food to insurance to cosmetics, and promoting causes from Planned Parenthood to the HIV Alliance to the Corvallis Pride, an all-women's football team. One side of the rectangle was dominated by a stage, where various entertainers performed – folk musicians, drag queens, an all-woman rock band that was really good, etc. There were games for kids and a "ropes course" for youth. There were babes in arms and people in wheelchairs.
And for the first year in its 13 year history, protestors didn't show up.
I was curious about that. Maybe it was the photos the drag queens took with them last year. Maybe they couldn't find anybody with a free Saturday. Or maybe they just couldn't be bothered.
In any case, they typically show up with big, full-color, graphic posters of botched abortions. At a celebration of gays and lesbians. Can you imagine anyone less likely to have an unwanted pregnancy?
Maybe it finally occurred to them just how silly that is.