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CK & GK Celebrate LGBTQIA+ People and History During Pride Month

We all have the power to make a difference and create change, no matter how big or small. —Jenny GK
CK & GK Celebrate LGBTQIA+ People and History During Pride Month

Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the journey and achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community? Are you eager to discover the rich history of activism that has led to progress and change? Look no further, our guests Ariella Monti and Ben Chapman will provide insights and knowledge on LGBTQIA+ people and history. In honor of Pride month, CK & GK explore the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of the community to develop a greater appreciation for their impact on society. You'll gain valuable insights into the ongoing fight for acceptance and equal rights, and come away with a greater appreciation for the contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals to society.

Key Takeaways re: LGBTQIA+ People and History

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Embark on a journey through the remarkable history of LGBTQIA+ activism and the community's ongoing quest for equality.

  • Realize the impact of the Stonewall uprising and its connection to the broader movement for LGBT rights.

  • Understand why memory keeping plays a vital role in both acknowledging the past and shaping the future of society.

Guest Bios

Our special guests are Ariella Monti and Ben Chapman, an archivist with the Johnston County Heritage Center in North Carolina.

Ben Chapman, a passionate historian specializing in LGBTQIA+ history, offers a captivating exploration into the community's development and activism over time. His commitment to unearthing underrepresented stories is evident in his work, creating a deeper understanding and appreciation of Queer contributions to society. Alongside Ariella Monti, a knowledgeable member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Chapman delivers a compelling look at the remarkable people and milestones that have shaped the LGBTQIA+ community's growth and understanding.

How You Can Be a True Ally to the LGBTQIA+ Community:

  • Learn more about Pride history by doing your own research and reading books on the subject.

  • Support organizations that advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, such as the Human Rights Campaign or GLAAD.

  • Attend Pride events in your community to show your support and celebrate diversity.

  • Donate to LGBTQIA+ organizations or volunteer your time to support their initiatives.

  • Educate yourself on LGBTQIA+ issues and become an ally by standing up against discrimination and advocating for equal rights.

  • Support LGBTQIA+ businesses and artists by purchasing their products or attending their events.

  • Vote for political candidates who support LGBTQIA+ rights and equality.

  • Speak out against bigotry and hate speech towards the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • Support LGBTQIA+ youth by volunteering with organizations such as The Trevor Project or PFLAG.

  • Advocate for inclusive policies in your workplace or school to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Learn More

Pre-Stonewall LGBT History

In the years before the 1969 Stonewall riots, the existence and struggle of LGBTQIA+ individuals were not well-known or understood. This era witnessed the gradual growth of various movements and organizations that aimed to foster a sense of identity and community among LGBTQIA+ people. In Germany during the 1920s, Max Hirschfeld pioneered the research of sexuality and gender through his institution. There were also examples of early non-binary individuals, like The Public Universal Friend, a Quaker who identified as genderless in the 1700s. However, the pre-Stonewall era's progress was limited by a lack of mainstream visibility and broader societal acceptance.

During the CK & GK podcast discussion, guest Ariella Monti mentions the context in which early LGBT figures existed, such as The Public Universal Friend. Ben adds that the nation was quietly ignorant of LGBTQIA+ individuals, further emphasizing the marginalized status of the community during this time. This historical backdrop sets the stage for understanding the significant changes initiated by the Stonewall riots and the subsequent evolution of LGBTQIA+ rights and activism.

The Stonewall Riot

The Stonewall Riots in 1969 marked a turning point in LGBTQIA+ activism, sparking the modern rights movement. These events unfolded primarily due to the activism and leadership of two transgender women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Despite initial resistance, the Stonewall Riots effectively shifted the LGBTQIA+ community from a largely invisible and marginalized group to one actively fighting for their rights, visibility, and acceptance.

Ben talks about the events of the Stonewall riots on the podcast, emphasizing the significance of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera's roles in organizing and leading the riots. He explains how the riots marked a paradigm shift, leading to greater political engagement and a rejection of the discriminatory policies and practices that held the LGBTQIA+ community back. Ultimately, the Stonewall riots represent a pivotal moment in the evolution and activism of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Briggs Initiative

The 1970s saw the growth of the LGBTQIA+ movement; however, it was also marked by periods of regression and backlash. California conservatives, for example, opposed lesbian and gay teachers through the Briggs Initiative, which sought to prevent openly gay or lesbian teachers from working in the education sector. The proponents of this movement claimed that these teachers could potentially turn children gay and recruit them to their cause.

During their conversation, Ariella Monti and Ben Chapman discuss the Briggs Initiative and its implications for LGBTQIA+ activism and history. Ariella emphasizes how conservative opposition in California targeted the Queer community, with an aim to hinder progress and maintain discriminatory and oppressive policies. This example provides a stark reminder of the persistent obstacles and struggles faced by the LGBTQIA+ community even as they continue on the path toward greater acceptance and equality.

The Importance of Responsible History

Understanding and preserving LGBTQIA+ history is critical for future generations to learn about the origins and ongoing struggle for equality and acceptance. By acknowledging the complexity of events and their lasting impacts, people can better appreciate the contributions of LGBTQIA+ individuals to society more broadly. This responsibility requires a willingness to continually learn and grow, approaching history with humility and empathy.

In the podcast, Ben Chapman shares his background as a historian and emphasizes the importance of responsible memory-keeping when it comes to controversial historical events. He notes that studying history goes beyond surface-level information and requires a deep understanding of the details and context surrounding each event. His insights remind the listeners of the importance of honoring and understanding LGBTQIA+ history as part of the broader movement toward equality.

In honor of Pride Month, Caitlin contributed $5 a day for the month of June to The Trevor Project. Please donate to support transgender youth.


Happy Pride! 🌈

Caitlin & Jenny


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