This year marks the proud 50th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion, launch pad of the modern gay rights movement. Still, persecution of queers rises today along with the growth of fascist and nationalist forces around the globe. In May, far right-wing Polish legislators who target LGBTQ people led the largest anti-Jewish protests in Europe since Hitler.
But lavender rights warriors know silence equals death and have a proud history of anti-fascist resistance. In the 1990s, when white nationalists targeted the Pacific Northwest for an Aryan homeland, queers were critical to the fightback. Seattle Gay News and the Stonewall Committee for Lesbian/Gay Rights joined socialist feminists with Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party, independent radical Jews, Romani activists, unionists and Black community leaders who came together to launch a direct action protest movement led by United Front Against Fascism.
Nothing demoralized the “Aryans” like UFAF’s rainbow coalition, which consistently turned out to denounce their attempt to revive Hitlerism.
LGBTQ folk have already proven their courage and daring in the fight for civil rights. Now again their leadership is needed on the frontlines against the bigots of reaction. The spirit of Stonewall is both past and future in the struggle for human rights.