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A Letter from Leadership

Photo of Beth Turner

Hello Denver Democrats!

Once again, as we roll through June and summer heats up, we start seeing rainbows adorning our neighbors' homes, public and municipal buildings, and the logos of brands across the internet. Despite the ubiquity of Pride Month celebrations across Colorado and the Nation, few folks actually know the history of the LGBTQ rights movement that evolved into the month-long celebrations and colorful regalia we all know and love.

The contemporary American LGBTQ liberation movement started in 1969, alongside the backdrop of the Black Civil Rights, counterculture and antiwar movements in the 1960s. At the time, being openly homosexual or transgender was a punishable offense, and safe places to gather for the LGBTQ community were few and far between. One such safe haven in New York City, a bar called the Stonewall Inn, was especially popular and known to welcome even the most marginalized of the queer community - gender-nonconforming folks like transgender people and drag queens.

Back in those days, police raids on LGBTQ-welcoming spaces were common, and late one evening and early into the morning of June 28, 1969, a raid took place at the Stonewall Inn; however, this time, the bar patrons fought back against the police and a multiday riot and protest movement formed in the surrounding neighborhood, and soon across the city and the nation. Over the coming weeks and months, this movement formalized into advocacy organizations and campaigns toward equality for same-sex couples, trans and gender-nonconforming folks, and all sexual and gender minorities within the LGBTQ community, culminating into today’s wide array of community organizations providing services to and advocacy on behalf of our communities. It is in remembrance and celebration of the Stonewall Riots that we celebrate Pride each year!

Despite these monumental gains, we are once again confronted with the vitriolic, bigoted and hateful rhetoric from leaders of the Republican Party, reminding us that this decades-long fight toward progress is not a given, and that we all share responsibility as Democrats in our community to stand up, fight back and advocate everywhere and every time we can for our LGBTQ community.

One way you can show your pride and stand with our community is by signing up to volunteer with the Stonewall Democrats at this year’s Colorado Gay Rodeo, anytime Friday through Sunday, July 12th-14th!

In Democratic Unity,

Jared Bynum

Second Vice Chair

Democratic Party of Denver



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