On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, it is essential to remember how Pride — the international celebration of the LGBTQ community — began as a local protest. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, queer folks, gender-nonconforming people, and trans women in New York rose up against police brutality and antigay laws in a series of demonstrations that would inspire the world to stand up against oppression.
The Advocate’s Champions of Pride is an annual list of activists, artists, politicians, influencers, and everyday people who are carrying on Stonewall’s spirit of rebellion in communities across the country. Editors selected change makers from each U.S. state in order to spotlight those who are advancing equality for LGBTQ and intersectional groups on the ground and inspiring others to do the same.
These Champions honor the grassroots history, present, and future of the movement. Read their stories below.