On June 28, 2020, when a small crew gathered on the roof of a parking garage, it felt like the perfect way to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The riots were led by Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Riveria, and numerous other BIPOC transgender women from June 28 – July 3, 1969. This uprising propelled the gay liberation movement forward.
Working with local Des Moines artist Robert Moore’s concept of a silent protest, photos were compiled of LGBTQ Black, Indigenous, and POC of the past and present to be broadcast on a building in downtown Des Moines for all to see. As the images flooded the blank canvas, it was an incredible reminder of the shoulders of giants we stand on, all of the times that our voices have been silenced, and the power of people in this movement. We are reminded that Pride started as a protest, and our sheer existence continues to be a radical act of love.
Special thanks to Jami Milne for capturing this work, and especially to Robert for sharing his vision and his continued effort to lift up silenced voices. Please check out his project, Harvesting Humanity, a silent protest in Rural America.