Early on the morning of June 28, 1969, police carried out a raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich, New York, brutalizing the gay, lesbian, and gender-nonconforming patrons inside. In what would become a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ History, the patrons of the Stonewall and LGBTQ+ persons in the surrounding area joined together to drive out police forces. This revolutionary civil-disobedience would act as a driving force in the emerging LGBTQ+ Rights Movement.
When we celebrate Pride, we have a chance to see where we’ve come from and the progress that’s been won. By remembering, we contextualize our current moment. Following Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ community came out and came together. There was a campaign for visibility and dialogue which would give way to the continuing national discourse on LGBTQ+ rights. It is true that in the decades following Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ community has seen some real social and legislative progress as a whole, but it is important to remember that the progress has not been shared equally. People of color and gender-nonconforming members of the community still face significant challenges, discrimination, and reduced quality of life. As we celebrate the victories of the past, we must continue to take up the causes of those fighting for the freedoms they are still being denied.
It is true that in the decades following Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ community has seen some real social and legislative progress as a whole, but it is important to remember that the progress has not been shared equally.
Here at Heylo, we asked ourselves how we could use our unique privilege to amplify the voices of the under-represented. Love is Love was developed with this goal in mind. We live in a divisive and politically charged time in the history of our nation, and it can often seem like cries for help fall on deafened ears. Although the obstacles are real, it is as important now as it was in the years following Stonewall to come together as a community and engage in the tough conversations that will bring us closer to a more just and equal society for all people.
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Cannabis has been used for millennia to foster connections and strengthen ties across diverse peoples. We at Heylo believe in the power of cannabis to start conversations and to change minds, and we hope that Love is Love will help us to create a more kind, connected world. Laurel (Lo) Friesen, Heylo’s Founder and CEO had this to say about our vision for this Pride season:
“The Love is Love campaign serves the Playthey mission by amplifying awareness of and access to education and art for the minority LGBTQ community. Heylo and Playthey share a dedication to education and a passion for supporting artistic communities. We are proud to have linked arms on the Love is Love blend to support Playthey's mission to foster a community of minority and LGBTQ artists in Seattle and beyond.”
The Heylo team hopes that this Pride we can celebrate the beauty found in our diverse community. Pride is about coming together and making visible the experiences of the marginalized. As we join in support of the LGBTQ+ community and its unique challenges, let’s create opportunities for dialogue and understanding. Together, we march toward the promise of a more equal and inclusive future.