Illustration by Amika Cooper for Refinery29
“The first Pride was a riot.” 
 
This June, the LGBTQ+ community has routinely shared those six words across social media. Activists and demonstrators in support of the Black Lives Matter movement use them to remind us that there’s a clear throughline between the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and a revitalized push for anti-racist legislation that protects people of color, especially Black Americans.
 
 
“From Stonewall to the very first Pride march in 1970, the Christoper Street Liberation Day march, Black trans and queer people have always been the ones willing to take the most votive action — whether it was throwing the brick or the first punch,” says Elle Hearns, founder and executive director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. “We’ve always been at the center of the movement. Black trans women like myself were always on the frontlines, and Marsha P. Johnson is a great example of what it looks like to take action in every aspect of your life.”
 
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The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a California nonprofit corporation and registered 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID (EIN) 46-1323531.

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