By AJ HUTH
The Center Youth Services Manager
June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, or as some say, rebellion or uprising.
Though it has many names and monikers, Stonewall was a turning point for LGBTQ equality. The movement had been marching along for many years with organizations like the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitus leading the way. Other riots preceded Stonewall like the one at Gene Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The events at Stonewall were a culmination of years of hard work, organizing and fi ghting back wrapped up together at the right place and at the right time.
Everyone came together to declare that police bullying and violence toward the LGBTQ community would not be tolerated any longer.
In the 50 years following Stonewall, there have been many advances in the fi ght for equality. Many more people are accepted by society, friends and family. Marriage equality is the law of the land, conversion therapy is being banned state by state and the federal Equality Act has just passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. For over 26 years, The Center has and continues to off er safe and celebratory spaces for all LGBTQ+ persons, no matter what changes aff ect our community.
The youth program, QVolution, meets weekly at The Center on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4 – 7 p.m. The history of the LGBTQ community including Stonewall is emphasized during the month of June, as the youths prepare for their annual production to commemorate the uprising.
QVolution to hold gallery opening June 27
Thanks to the generosity of the Nevada Arts Council and our resident artist, Denise Duarte, the youths of QVolution are learning art techniques including printing and sculpting techniques that they will use to collaborate on a collective art piece.
The collaborative pieces, along with individual pieces will be displayed at The Center with a gallery opening and artist talk on June 27 from 6-8 p.m.. We hope the entire community will come out to support our youth and celebrate 50 years of Stonewall.
This program/project was supported, in part, by the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
AJ Huth is the youth services manager at The Center, 401 S. Maryland Parkway. For more information, visit www.thecenterlv.org or call 727-278-7028.