Dear Collectors,

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall RiotsRebellion, and the beginning of the movement for LGBTQ rights in the United States. As a proud member of the community, this history is important to me, especially since it was not taught to me growing up. Everything I learned about the history of LGBTQ+ peoples, I learned from the internet. As such, I thought it was time that I contributed a short informative article about the community’s origins, so that others like me, who are growing up in a conservative–probably Christian–household can learn about the people who paved the way for them to have the right to express who they are.

By The Collectress

I’m feeling a little discouraged that LGBTQ American history is ignored in the mainstream educational setting, so if you’ve stumbled across this post because you want to learn more about the LGBTQ community and its culture and history, here are a few good documentaries to begin with. 

For the first time since 1994, I will not be watching the Winter Olympics.

For most people, that’s not such a big deal. The American network affiliate, NBC, is lame and airs the footage late at night, and most people are busy with school/work/stuff. NBD, right? For most people, yes. I am, as my mother loves to remind me, not like most people. In 1994, I was 6 years old, and Oksana Baiul’s  performance of “Swan Lake” moved me to tears and inspired in me a lifelong love of two things: figure skating and Tchaikovsky.

I swore to one day be just like Oksana, and although my dream of figure skating was crushed by a 16-hand horse (yes, literally), I have never, ever, missed watching one figure skating competition since. I am certain that I drive my roommates to near madness with my constant DVRing of competitions and exclamations like, “Oh he did not just two-foot that double axel!” At the gay nightclub near my home, a couple oh-so-fabulous boys and I practice double loops on the dance floor (they’ve dubbed themselves my ‘figure-skating fairies.’)

And so it damn near breaks my heart to miss the Olympic games, but, as it turns out, there is one thing closer to my heart than skating, and that is human rights. Now, I realize that some people will say, “refusing to watch an American broadcasting network won’t affect Russia one way or the other.” And they’re right. It won’t. However, it was the decision of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to give Russia the opportunity to host this year’s Games, and if I, and others who feel as I do, do not watch, they will notice and perhaps they will not make the same mistake in the future. Forgive me, dear Collectors, if I rant; this is a topic that I cannot and will not stay quiet about, no matter who it places me at odds with.