A History of the LGBT Rights Movement

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  • By Tech. Sgt. Kody Parsons
  • Survival Evasion Resistance Escape psych services
On June 28, 1969, the police conducted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn. Upon entering the establishment, they were greeted by 200 gays and lesbians ready to fight back for their First Amendment right to freedom of assembly. Over the next six days, more than 1,000 members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community fought back against the police in what is now known as the Stonewall Riot of 1969, the birthplace of the Gay Rights Movement. Additionally, this event sparked a 50-year revolution for LGBT rights in the United States.

At the time, it was unheard of for any LGBT member to actively resist police during a raid since there were still so many laws prohibiting their existence. It was as if the LGBT community was awakened for the first time after hearing about the riots, and they became much more visible over the next few years.

In June 1970, the first Gay Pride event was held in commemoration of the riots of 1969.  All around the globe, the LGBT community pays homage to the men and women who fought back against oppression and gave them the courage to stand together, proud of who they are. Over the next few decades, the Stonewall Riots of 1969 are credited to have influenced various attempts made to provide the LGBT community with equal human rights. 

One of the most notable civil rights battles centers on the creation of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in 1994, which allowed LGBT members to serve in the Armed Forces, as long as they hid their sexual orientation. In September 2011, this policy was successfully repealed and gays and lesbians are now allowed to serve proudly.

Today, the LGBT community continues to fight for equality and "pride" events continue to be held as a reminder of the events that occurred in June 1969 - giving courage to millions of men and women around the world to fight for human rights.

The 92nd ARW LGBT special observance committee is dedicated to establishing a community that welcomes and honors gay and lesbian service members, and their allies, assigned to Fairchild Air Force Base.

For more information on upcoming Pride Month events contact Tech. Sgt. Kody Parsons at (509) 247-8938 or Staff Sgt. Shanice Travis at (509) 370-7021.