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The First Pride Was an Uprising.

Photo of two LGBTIQ+ identified people posing with serious faces during a Pride march. The image has a yellow tint and text that reads: The First Pride Was an Uprising. The MADRE logo rests on the bottom right with the latest rendition of the Pride flag

We do not forget that the foundation of Pride was an uprising by Black and brown LGBTIQ+ people against state-sanctioned discrimination and violence. We remember the leadership of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera,  Miss Major Griffin Gracy, Marielle Franco, and many more LGBTIQ+ organizers in the movement in the US and abroad who have worked to protect Black and brown, disabled, queer, and trans women. Their legacy continues to guide our movements.

Fifty-one years later, we observe Pride amidst two world-changing events: an uprising in defense of Black lives and the global COVID-19 crisis. More and more, people recognize that Black and brown communities are hit hardest by state terror and are routinely denied the right to health.

We must look towards Black and brown LGBTIQ+ leadership — not just right now, but every day — as we demand and fight for a more just future.

MADRE has always worked to make the global women’s movement a safe space for our LGBTIQ+ partners, just as we’ve worked for a more feminist LGBTIQ + movement.  With the support of our members, we’ve published the stories of survivors of homophobic and transphobic violence in Iraq. We won a major victory to ensure that a pending treaty on Crimes Against Humanity does not deny protection to LGBTIQ+ people.

During Pride Month and beyond, MADRE honors the many histories within the LGBTIQ+ liberation movement, and its continued demands for present and future equality. Thank you for your solidarity to support, uplift and protect LGBTIQ+ people worldwide.

June 28, 2020