I’m not sure if there is a correlation between the arrival of the summer solstice and gay pride month. I would like to think that the timing, in fact, was actually meant to fall roughly on the anniversary of the famous Stonewall riots which sparked the gay rights movement. Just one week after the summer solstice on June 28th 1969, fifty years ago on this very day, a group of LGBTQ people (many of whom were transgender people of color) gathered at the Stonewall Inn. At that time it was illegal for LGBTQ people to congregate and be served alcohol, so as often happened – the police raided the bar. On this night, however, the patrons fought and resisted the raid and the gay rights movement was born.
Of course the tension had been brewing. People were upset about the funeral of Judy Garland which happened earlier that day. People were also fearful of being outed and arrested. In my heart, I’d also like to believe the summer solstice played a role.
Late June is the time in which the sun shines longer than any other time, the brightest of the bright or, according to Asian philosophy, the most yang of all yang. And so it’s significant that it was in June that the yearning to shine brightly and the impetus to stand proud reached its peak. It was time, at last, to revel in the brightness; to stand and be counted in the daylight culture.
This year, and every year, the Yinova Center gives thanks to those brave patrons of the Stonewall Inn for allowing the next generation (and the next) to stand in the sun and to be proud, vibrant, and full of light.
The Yinova Center stands with the LGBTQ community. We see you and we support you.
Wishing you peace, light, and pride.