happy (belated) stonewall day & revolution season

The Stonewall Riots began June 27, 1969, at 130 am (or maybe it’s June 28; I can never remember, quite, in part because it’s always confusing to me whether you count 130 am as “the night of” the night before or “the night of” the next morning, if you know what I mean).

At any rate those fabulous drag queens, butch dykes, and other unnamed queers kicked off the public face of the mass movement for sexual liberation. Hoorah! Keep your state out of my bedroom!

Summer is a time for revolution. Consider:

  • May Day, May 1: Not just a pagan welcome to warm weather anymore. Since the Haymarket Riot, May Day has come to stand for the international struggle for the rights of all working people. As the tagline goes, Enjoy your weekend? Thank the Labor Movement.
  • El Cinco de Mayo, May 5: Celebrating the events of May 5, 1862, when 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated an occupying army twice their size.
  • Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, June 19: Celebrating the emancipation of African-Americans in the United States. This presidential proclamation came after years of struggle, agitation by abolitionists, revolts by enslaved people, and of course the bloodiest war in US history.
  • The Fourth of July, Independence Day (US), July 4: Celebrating revolution against George, an incompetent and possibly mentally disabled ruler who inherited his position from his similarly named grandfather. After putting it like that, I’m starting to feel a bit more in the firecracker-and-barbecue spirit.
  • Pride, June 27 – July 2: Celebrating the Stonewall Riots, which sparked a gay revolution against sexual oppression!
  • Bastille Day, July 14: Celebrating the French Revolution and the overthrow of an infamous prison historically used against debtors and political dissidends.