In Featured at HBT, Our Virtual Mishkan, Reflections: Rabbi Zachary Goodman

June is Pride Month!

Oppression and uprising are often key factors in shaping identity. This plays out across many identity groups: race, religion, sexuality, class, etc. We are currently witnessing civil unrest and uprisings around the globe in connection to anti-Black racism. The month of June, which is officially LGBT+ Pride Month, is a great example of this as well! Many of us have marched in Pride Parades either as members of the LGBT+ community, friends, allies or family members. As nearly all Pride parades have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, it is the perfect year to look back at the history of Pride and make a commitment to better understanding its origins.

On June 28, 1969, an uprising took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. As it was raided by the police in the early hours, three nights of unrest followed with LGBT people, long frustrated by police brutality, finally fighting back. Lesbians and trans women of colour were some of the key people involved in the act of resistance, including Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. The Stonewall uprising took place in the context of broader civil rights movements. The Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in 1970 was a key moment in which activists from Black Power, feminist and gay liberation movements came together, saw common cause and learned from each other. The Gay Liberation Front was the main organization that formed out of the uprising and these wider movements. The GLF first formed in the US and were part of the original discussions to create the first Pride, which took place on June 28, 1970, in New York City, a year after the Stonewall riots – then called the Christopher Street Day Parade.[1]

The Stonewall Uprising sparked a movement that was decades in the making. While LGBT+ Pride is celebrated yearly in June, the work for equal rights and inclusion carries on year-round. Now, just over 50 years after the uprising, there is a lot of progress we can celebrate – but more importantly, so much more work that needs to be done.

Here at Holy Blossom, we are strongly committed to creating a warm and welcoming home for all who seek an inclusive Jewish community. Holy Blossom Temple has long encouraged and supported LGBT+ members to learn, pray and celebrate life milestones here. In an effort to further strengthen our commitment to embracing an inclusive spirit, Holy Blossom has recently developed our LGBT+ Inclusion Task Force. Please take a look at the following links for details about our upcoming Virtual Pride Events!

Events and Resources:

If you would like more information about our commitment to inclusion, I invite you to be in touch with me, at [email protected] or Abigail at [email protected]!

Happy Pride!


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