Dancing on the Doorstep of Brutality
This week, organisations & members from within the global LGBT+ community have celebrated or campaigned about International Day Against Homophobia, Interphobia & Transphobia (‘IDAHOBIT’)
The campaign always brings up memories from my former life, most notably, a cute afternoon on Preston’s Flag Market under the metaphorical & shamelessly cheap banner #FightFireWithLove
Although much of my protest and campaigning-on-the-street days seem to be behind me, it’s interesting to spot patterns & share moments of subliminal unity occasionally – even from this side of the planet.
I therefore take you to the Stonewall Hotel in Sydney (…won’t lie, i remember little of the night, with Jordan lad, in October just gone but…) seeing those nine letters, instantly transports me from the Southern Hemisphere, to the United Kingdom and onto the United States…
Down under, it’s is a hotel and club.
In the UK it’s an equality-fighting charity that I fundraised for as a teen.
In the US? It’s a bar which my sister and I got to enjoy – thanks to Preston’s LGBT Youth group…
‘Stonewall’ will naturally mean different things to different people.
But the Stonewall Riots in New York, which is presumably where the name choice comes from for all of the other businesses that use it in their name, is such an important part of our history.
There will, no doubt, be dozens more examples of Stonewall-branded establishments and projects worldwide. And all will undoubtedly serve a key purpose. (I appreciate that naming themselves ‘Stonewall’ keeps the name alive too – so I’m not being critical.)
But, looking back at my younger self, when dancing on the doorstep of such historic brutality, that beautiful night in New York City, I remember being more focused on the ripped guys shuffling in the bar than the significance of where we were grooving.
And that does concern me.
I hope the current generation understand and appreciate these locations and symbols much more than I ever did.