Navajo Nation’s LGBTQ Pride Event Celebrates A Return To The Culture’s History

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07/11/2019

As the sun dips below the horizon, the colored lights turn on — bathing the Navajo Nation Council Chambers in rainbow hues as the crowd cheers. On June 28, the Navajo Nation kicked off Diné Pride, a two-day event in Window Rock, Ariz., the capital of the Navajo reservation. Diné Pride coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, when patrons at a historic gay bar in New York City fought back against violent police raids in 1969. The protests are widely credited with springboarding the modern gay civil rights movement in the U.S. This year’s Diné Pride is infused with that history, themed Sacredness Before Stonewall — focusing attention on honoring transgender women of color and their history in indigenous culture. “Since our creation, the Diné people have acknowledged and revered LGBTQ and especially the trans community in our leadership,” said Alray Nelson, founder of Diné Equality and board member for Diné Pride. “Our theme, Sacredness Before Stonewall, is just a way that we are decolonizing and indigenizing Pride for us.”

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