The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye December 2023 issue
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Pride month – the past and present

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Image credit: Charli Gilchrist

The history of gay pride is one of battles and liberation, and now on its 54th anniversary, many are still celebrating the fight for equal rights in the modern world. Since the movement for gay rights began, there has been major progress.
One of the movement’s key catalysts was the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall was an originally “straight” bar located in Greenwich Village that the Genovese crime family bought in 1966 to profit off of gay clientele that were not allowed into other bars..

On June 28, The Stonewall Riots started after the New York Police Department raided Stonewall. That night, no tip was sent out, making this raid a surprise. As the police were arresting people, many people started to fight back. The rage had finally been expressed, but it was not all out yet. Dozens of people started to fight back, and over the course of the night, hundreds of people had joined in. People who were involved in the riot threw pennies, rocks, and eventually bottles at police officers, who were harassing patrons. Later that night, the riots escalated and officers, news writers, and some prisoners had to barricade themselves in the Stonewall inn, which the rioters attempted to set on fire multiple times. The Stonewall Riots of 1969 sent shockwaves across the nation as one of the most significant riots in American history.

The riots at Stonewall went on for 5 more days, despite a riot squad and firefighters intervening and dispersing the crowds, the riots only ramped up when the Village Voice released an article on them. At this point, it wasn’t just gay people and drag queens rioting, but even straight couples, Black Panthers, and anti-war protesters rioting. This was a giant movement for gay people, it showed that others can provide support towards the LGBTQ+ community and that they can fight together for more equal rights. The rioting of the Stonewall Inn was a breaking point for oppressed gay people, it moved a lot of people forward to make changes in the world.

On June 28, 1970, one year after the riots at Stonewall, the gay community wanted to be more proud of what they were. They decided that they could make something that everyone could participate in to express their pride. Thousands of people marched from Stonewall Inn to Central Park. The participants would chant “Say it loud, gay is proud.” People called this day “Christopher Street Liberation Day,” which was America’s first ever pride parade. This was the day that so many gay people around the world began to feel accepted and heard, this was the day that no one felt alone.

The first ever pride parade was a huge turning point and allowed pride groups to grow, such as the Gay Libertarian Front and the Gay Activist Alliance, which helped gay people feel more and more supported and safe. These groups received a ton of help from a very famous Queer role model, Marsha P. Johnson. It has been rumored that the starter of the riot at the Stonewall Inn was prominent Queer and Transgender figure Marsha P. Johnson. Johnson was a LGBTQ activist and helped fight transphobia and racism among other pride members who still weren’t as accepting of trans people. Johnson felt like there was still a lot of transphobia surrounding these groups, so with the help of her longtime friend, Sylvia Rivera, she founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which was an organization that helped shelter young transgender kids from abusive families. Johnson also made the STAR house, which sheltered trans kids who don’t feel safe at home. This was very important to Johnson due to her history of being homeless. The STAR house was originally in the back of an old truck, and it was eventually moved to an abandoned building. But sadly after 8 months in the building, they were forced to move out.

Marsha P. Johnson later learned that she had HIV, and decided to speak up about it saying that people should not be afraid of others that have it. Sadly though, through the many traumatic events she went through in the past led to her many mental breakdowns in 1990. 2 years later on July 6th, 1992, Marsha’s body was found in a river. Police refused to investigate and ruled it a suicide. Marsha was later honored by New York City with a statue of her and Sylvia Rivera in 2019.

In recent times, many changes have been made and impacted the LGBTQ+ community. On June 26, 2015, a bill was passed by the Supreme Court that said same-sex couple marriage couldn’t be banned in any states. This was an incredible win for everyone, which influenced many positive changes made today. But sadly, there are many bills being passed that are very anti-LGBTQ. Just last year, there were nearly 240 bills passed that limited the rights for the Gay community. But there is still a lot of hope for people, there are many positive gender affirming care bills being passed. Just in Washington alone, there have been bills that don’t allow parents to interfere in their children’s medical care for transitioning. There have also been bills that allow trans kids to be sheltered away from their parents if they feel unsafe, just like the STAR house Marsha P. Johnson made. Even if they were more than 60 years ago, the many events that happened in the 1960s have really impacted the changes made in the present.

Today, there are still many battles being fought for LGBTQ rights, governments all around the world are impacting the community greatly, whether that be negative or positive. But negative or not, many people are still fighting and it seems that absolutely nothing will make this fight stop.

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About the Contributors
Andrian Treadwell, Design Editor
Mariah Treadwell joined journalism to spend more time with her friends, as well as have some fun. As the new design editor, she hopes to learn more about design concepts and art revolving around daily life. Mariah watches anime and likes to draw and bake in her free time. Mariah also wants to learn more about culture in the news world. Mariah also loves to bake and her post high school plans are to open her own bakery!
Halle Connell, News Editor
Halle Connell has been working with and studying journalism for 3 years and has produced many well-received articles and videos to different school news outlets. She mainly focuses on world news and is very interested in political and social issues. She has worked with many students in the past to get opinions of the people and not just news anchors. Halle is very interested in social justice and working to educate the world on the topics many people are not willing to talk about. Halle plans to attend college to get a degree in journalism or psychology. She is currently studying French and hopes to study abroad in France one day.
Charli Gilchrist, Graphics Editor
Charli Gilchrist joined HSM to learn more about journalism and continue from where they had left off in journalism from middle school. They have no specific role but hope to help out the paper with graphic design as much as they can. In their free time, they usually enjoy studying clouds, listening to music, and scrolling through Pinterest. They plan on going to a university of the arts after graduation, but for now they can enjoy contributing to the school paper.
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