As protests roar, LGBT+ activists see chance to return to ‘radical roots’

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06/01/2020

As widespread protests over racial injustice roiled the country, LGBT+ campaigners on Monday, the start of the annual Pride month, called for a return to the rebellious origins of the U.S. gay rights movement. Pride celebrations have come under criticism for becoming heavily commercialized and straying from their roots, and the outrage sparked by the killing of George Floyd is an opportunity to return to protests for social justice, advocates said. The origins of gay pride parades lie in riots against police brutality in 1969 in New York City, they said, and now cities are filled with protesters outraged over the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. “The first Pride was a riot and an outpouring of anger and frustration, led by transgender women of color who threw bricks at police and sparked the beginning of the queer liberation movement,” New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who is gay, wrote in an open letter to the organizers of New York City Pride.

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