Lady Gaga took to Instagram to share a couple photos of herself from the balcony of her Chicago apartment in celebration of gay pride. Overlooking a huge gathering of people down below, her caption read, “Watching over Chicago Pride from my apartment and smiling so big. So many happy people. Happy pride!!”
The history of Gay Rights in the country date back to the late ’60s and the epicenter was Manhattan. The core fighters of the LGBTQ community include Marsha P. Johnson, Scott G. Brown, Sylvia Rivera, and a slew of other pioneers. The sad thing is this generation has passed or will very soon, which is why we have to honor their legacy while they’re still alive. One of those people is an inspiring person in our Latinx community.
Victoria Cruz, who is in her 70s, is a survivor of the Stonewall Riots and is still very much a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights.
Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico, is one of 11 children that grew up in New York. While Cruz was born a male, she knew since she was in high school that she was a woman. Back in the ’60s, that was no easy thing to admit, yet her Puerto Rican family supported her transition.
While her family and close community were supportive, Cruz faced immense hardships including harassment from the police, and later in the ’90s, she was assaulted.
“I was very angry. Very angry,” Cruz said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2017. “The worst part of it is that I couldn’t feel the ground beneath me, and added that she was “was contemplating suicide,” at the time.
But she overcame that tough time and is recognized as a leader in the movement for Gay Rights.
Yet, despite the hate and violence she faced, Cruz pushed on standing up for her LGBTQ+ family.
“I used to go to St. Vincent’s on my lunch hour…and I would see her,” Cruz told The Advocate. “She called to me, ‘Victoria, come here.’ And she always called me Dickie, you know, so when she said, ‘Victoria come here,’ I knew that she meant business. I sat down, and she looked at me. She said, ‘Try to keep the community together because we are our own worst enemy. And there’s power in numbers.’ And then she said, ‘The world will come up to try to divide us, and when you divide a community, you conquer it. So try to keep the community together.’”
As a trans woman and pioneer of the LGBTQ movement, Cruz said positive change is happening right now.
“I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful that it will change for the better,” she told The Advocate. “There’s power in numbers. If we unite and keep united, we can make the future different, and what we want it to be. By galvanizing one another, we galvanize each other. And with the same frame of mind, the same frame of thought, we can change what’s happening.”
Trans rights are the new frontier in the LGBTQ+ movement. Despite the contributions made to the movement by trans women of color, cis members of the LGBTQ+ community ignore their plight or add to the harassment.
“There is so much hatred directed toward queer people, particularly transgender women of color. For what? Why? I think it may be about people’s own insecurities about their own identities and sexualities. And further, people don’t know their history,” Cruz told BC/Stories. “The transgender experience isn’t new. It’s as old as the human experience, and anyone who does their research would know this. I think society needs to be educated, and maybe after being educated, empathy will follow.”
June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and that means that cities all over the U.S. will be holding their own very colorful, very gay parades to show off their pride for who they are. And as much gratitude as we have for allies that show up for their queer brothers and sisters, it’s still an unfortunate reality that older generations have a bit of catching up to do when it comes to supporting gay rights. This fact is particularly glaring in Latinx communities where many families still view straight lifestyles as “right” lifestyles.
That’s why it’s especially refreshing to see pictures of seniors showing up for their younger gay family members. These abuelas and abuelos are going out of their way to prove to society that love is love. Punto. Considering that many of these seniors grew up in conservative, non-tolerant times, we consider it a brave act to support gay rights so publicly. So without further ado, we present to you 20 pictures of abuelitas supporting their grandkids during Gay Pride Month.
1. This abuelita needs to open an Etsy store for gay nietos everywhere
According to this tweet’s caption, this adorable grandmother made her granddaughter a sweater with a rainbow on it as a way to support her granddaughter when she came out. Excuse us while we grab our tissues.
2. This well-dressed abuela is out there being supportive
We stan a queen who rocks a pantsuit to Gay Pride.
3. This abuela has been an ally years before it went mainstream.
According to this caption, this 92-year-old abuelita has been marching for gay rights for 30 years! She’s definitely a hero.
4. This abuela is marching for a family member dear to her heart
As the sign says, this fierce abuelita is proud of her trans 6-year-old grandson. The world needs more allies with as much passion as she has.
5. We want to know where this abuela got her outfit from.
We have a feeling this abuelita has the same stylist as Lady Gaga–and we couldn’t love it more.
6. This abuela doesn’t only support gay rights, she’s also a part of the community
We love seeing older generations rep the rainbow flag with such freedom–especially because we know they didn’t always have the same luxury.
7. This grandmother is woke in more ways than one!
We LOVE how she’s wearing both rainbow tie-dye and a button that says “ask to be tested”. We love an abuela that supports gay pride and safe sex!
8. This abuela looks over-the-moon to be out among the gays
The hat. The flag. The outfit. We can’t! We might just die of cute-overload.
9. Although this abuela is straight, that doesn’t stop her from marching
It’s women like this that are prime examples of what an ally should do: use your voice and your privilege to make a difference in the status quo.
10. This abuela is showing the youngins how to DO it
We love this grandma’s enthusiasm! We’ve gotten to the point where we walk around the parade for 20 minutes, complain about the crowds and the heat and beg our friends to go home. We wish we were more like this abuela!
11. This grandma’s support means so much to her grandson
This grandson’s caption says it all. This is just further proof that having allies in your family can be a game-changer.
12. We can’t forget about Insta-Grandma Baddie Winkle who is a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ cause
If you haven’t heard of Baddie Winkle, we’re happy to enlighten you. Baddie Winkled is a 96 years-young grandmother who has become Insta-famous for her young-at-heart lifestyle. She particularly favors rainbow-scale colors and is all about LGBTQ rights.
13. This grandmother knows how to make a catchy slogan:
“Grandmas for Gays” should definitely be on a T-shirt or two.
14. This abuela proves that you don’t have to go all-out to be an ally
Sometimes, simply showing up as yourself (and a tiny little rainbow flag) is enough. There’s no “right” way to do Pride. Come as you are!
15. This abuela is dressed head-to-toe in rainbow garb for her granddaughter’s wedding
It’s one thing to show up to a gay wedding, but it’s another thing to SHOW UP FOR a gay wedding. This abuela wins all the things. We could all learn a thing or two from her.
16. This abuela has a few choice words for homophobes
Let’s be honest: we wouldn’t want to run into this abuela in an abandoned alleyway if you catch our drift.
17. Even this abuela’s puebla blouse is rainbow-colored!
We can’t get enough of how this abuela is fusing both her Latinx roots and her LGBTQ pride.
18. This grandma put her conservative beliefs aside to support her gay grandchild
She even wrote a touching anthem in support of the gay community. Check it out here (and try not to cry).
19. This abuela went so far as to IRON her granddaughter’s Bi Flag before the parade
This super adorable and also one of the most abuela-y things a grandmother could ever do. We mean, have you ever met an abuela that’s okay with your clothes being wrinkled?
20. And of course, the proudest abuelita of all time…
Abuelita in One Day At a Time was like many grandmothers in the Latinx community: sometimes, stuck in the old ways that they grew up in, but when it comes down to it, they love their family no matter what. Plus, she’s hilarious
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