Every year, the nation honors the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with LGBT Pride Month, which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots — a diverse uprising (many of the group were people of color) against police brutality and inequality. President Barack Obama said this week in a proclamation, which declared June LGBT Pride Month, "As progress spreads from State to State, as justice is delivered in the courtroom, and as more of our fellow Americans are treated with dignity and respect — our Nation becomes not only more accepting, but more equal as well."
Here at BET.com, we are celebrating Pride Month with a video series highlighting LGBT people of color in media. In revealing interviews, we spoke to a range of celebrities, from sports to hip hop to R&B to Broadway to activism.
New York Times best-selling author and transgender activist Janet Mock opened about the violence trans women face daily and what Pride means to her. "[Pride] is mostly to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. It wasn't a parade, it wasn't full of floats, it was not full of corporate sponsorships. It was a police riot. It was queer and trans people who lived on the streets — who were drag queens, who were gender non-conforming — who were tired of the authority policing their identities, sexualities and genders."
Also, NBA center and trailblazer Jason Collins, who made history last year by coming out as the first openly gay, active NBA player, talks about his own life-changing experience. "As a professional athlete, I've been booed by 18,000 people. You have to have thicker skin," he shares. "I didn't know what to expect when I made my announcement, but I knew I had a great support system."
In addition to Mock and Collins, check out our conversations with hip hop artist Fly Young Red, Broadway sensation Billy Porter, WNBA player Brittney Griner and R&B singer Monifah in celebration of LGBT Pride.
Check out the videos below and click here for all things LGBT Pride.
Get ready for the BET Experience, featuring Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Jill Scott, A$AP Rocky, Rick Ross and many more. Click here for more details and info on how to purchase tickets.
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(Photos from left: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO, Angela Weiss/Getty Images for NBCUniversal)