By Jack Ryan Wampler
The LGBT+ community has always faced harassment in the United States because of societal gender and relationship norms. The gay rights movement reached a pivotal moment during the Stonewall Riots in New York City in June of 1969. Since then, the month of June has been designated Pride Month to celebrate the milestones achieved by the LGBTQ+ community and to reflect on the hard work accomplished by those before us.
In honor of Pride Month 2021, we will be making regular posts throughout June about LGBTQ+ history in the city of Tucson. We will start by recounting the tragic death of Richard J. Heakin, a young gay man beaten to death in Tucson in 1976 . However, we follow with the stories of a community rising together, in protest of such a horrific hate crime. Finally, we end with a collection of LGBTQ+ resources for our readers.
According to Gallup and the Williams Institute, approximately 14.65 million US adults identified with the LGBTQ+ community in 2017. Today, the acronym represents a diverse range of sexualities and gender-identities.
42% of people who are LGBT report living in an unwelcoming environment, but in 2013, 92% of adults who are LGBT said they believe society had become more accepting of them than in the past 10 years.
Our LGBTQ+ community in Tucson has a vibrant history, and we hope to shine some light on those who struggled to bring us where we are today.
If you remember important events in Tucson’s LGBTQ+ history we encourage you to share them with us!
Jack is one of our 2021 Summer Interns