ASHEVILLE, NC (WLOS ) — June is LGBTQ Pride Month and a march in downtown Asheville comes at a pivotal time in today’s society.
A group of demonstrators gathered midday Sunday, June 28, to rally and march through downtown Asheville. The event was held on this particular day to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which took place 51 years ago in New York City after police raided the Stonewall Inn.
According to History.com‘s timeline of the Stonewall Riots, the Stonewall Inn “served as a haven for the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community” at a time when “homosexual acts remained illegal in every state except Illinois.” The riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement.
By marching through downtown Asheville, participants say they hope to spread a particular message.
“I hope people take away that Black trans lives matter just as much as Black lives,” said a participant who goes by the name Spike. “Black trans lives are Black lives. You cannot separate or exclude.”
On June 28, 1969, two transgender women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, reportedly resisted arrest during one of the raids, according to History.com, and threw a bottle (some accounts say a brick or a stone) at police officers, with riots ensuing.
Participants at Asheville’s event also said it was not organized by a specific group, rather community members coming together for a common goal.
A celebration followed the march, with music and speeches.
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