Monday 28th June 2021 – ÁLVARO MONFORT with Mike Smith
Xàbia will be marking International LGBTI+ Pride Day today Monday 28th June with an institutional act marking this special day in front of the town hall at 12 noon which will include the work carried out by students of the high schools in the town in raising awareness through social media networks. The town hall will also be displaying the iconic symbols of Pride Day: the rainbow flag and the proclamation “Tinc dret a ser, tú i estimar com vullga” – “I have the right to be and love as I please”.
A Little History
International LGBTI+ Pride Day emerged from the riots that started the Stonewall Inn, a tavern in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, USA in 1969. The establishment was frequented by transsexuals, transvestites, African-Americans and people who engaged in sex work, often under the influence of mafias. Most of them were young people who had been thrown out of the house by their family due to their condition, and many of them slept in a nearby popular park. The bar was also run by the mafia, but it was still the only place where sexual condition or gender identity was irrelevant.
On the night of June 28, the police stormed the premises and what seemed like yet another raid in which people would be arrested without documentation, resulted in the arrest of Sylvia Rivera, a transsexual woman whose identity was questioned by the agents. Along with them, other women were arrested “for not wearing the minimum of three pieces of their gender that the law stipulated”.
The astonished clientele booed and rebuked the police, something that surprised the federals who were used to the LGTBI + collective being silent in the face of this type of event. The agents responded using force and the night resulted in some thirty arrests and several injuries. The next morning, the surprise was when a large crowd, of all identities and sexuality, demonstrated in the streets against what happened. The police response was, again, violence.
Days later, some angry people from the gay community staged a night of riots that caused lots of damage to urban furniture. The next day, the demonstration became much more peaceful, demanding and with a certain festive component in front of Independence Hall. It is this collective expression that is remembered today in numerous cities around the world because it was the trigger for a great change in mentality and perception whose pedagogy continues to this day.
The claim of Pride is to celebrate the equality of all people, at all levels, regardless of their way of feeling and being.