2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The Stonewall Riots happened in June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village.

Transgender people, gay, lesbian, and bisexual folks, drag performers, and others said “no more” to oppressive police raids and fought back against the discrimination and violence from the New York City Police Department.

As a lesbian, June is a fun month for my family and I. We try to attend pride festivals in the region to celebrate our identities and to be around a community where we don’t feel like we have to fight for acceptance and rights in our society.

Seeing the pride flags, the excitement, the music, and the support fills my soul, and makes it easier to come back to my reality as the LGBTQA office director at the University of Idaho, working to support our LGBTQA students.

Here are some quick tips for those attending a pride celebration:

No. 1: Respect each person’s identity. Be mindful of folks’ pronouns, their names, and do not pass judgement on those celebrating who they are in a safe space.

No. 2: Understand the history of the history of pride festivals. While today, pride has a corporate presence at many events, it was not always like that. Pride is for celebrating our community; remember to be there for the people, and not the businesses.

No. 3: While Pride is often a family-friendly event, there may be performances and vendors that are not particularly family friendly. Try to pick ones that your family will be comfortable attending.

No. 4: Have fun and be nice! If you not part of the LGBTQA community, we love to have you at our celebrations. Please respect all of us.

Julia Keleher

Moscow

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