Saturday, June 28, 2014

Forty-five Years Since Stonewall

This June marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

The distance we have come in that time is nothing short of astounding.

Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, spoke on the occasion at the "Stonewall at 45" Commemoration on Thursday.

She said:
"So, as we look back over the 45 years since Stonewall, we can see how far we’ve come, thanks in large part due to the work of brave individuals like [Foreign Service Officer and GLIFAA President] Robyn McCutcheon, and the three advocates you will hear from today.

But we can also see how much further we have left to go. Yes, we have amazing projects like, “It gets better,” which didn’t exist when Bill and Zachary were growing up. But we still need projects like it – and the phones at the Trevor project keep ringing, day and night – because in some parts of our country, in some communities, and in some families, it still can be very, very bad. Because some LGBT kids need to hear that it won’t always hurt as much as it does right now. And they need to hear that before the pain becomes overwhelming for them; so long as those kids are out there – so long as those phones are still ringing – we still have work, real work, to do.

And I’d go one step further – and, full disclosure, it’s big step. Marin Luther King once said famously: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” If we believe that to be the case, and I think we do; and if we are truly universal champions of LGBT equality, as I know we are; and if we are witnessing such an alarming backlash against LGBT rights, in so many parts of the world, as we unquestionably are; then it is our duty to take the lessons we have learned in our own movement and share them with the people who are waging this struggle beyond our borders. They too need to know that “It gets better.” They need any help that we can offer in making it better.

Who better to help them answer that call, as we look back upon the 45 years since Stonewall, than us?"

You can read her entire speech here. You can read a story about the event here.

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