It's Pride Month. Don't forget what we're fighting for. 

Last Sunday, Missoula's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens turned out for the Equality March, part of a worldwide series of demonstrations affirming LGBTQ+ rights. More than 100 people showed up, waving signs and standing up to homophobia. June is national Pride Month, a time of celebration and mobilization for queer people around the world.

If ever queer people needed a morale boost, it's now. Vice President Mike Pence is well known for his anti-gay sentiment. And while the alt-right has taken a somewhat open-armed approach to gays (as evidenced by their embrace of gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos), transgender people remain the targets of widespread vitriol.

Shows of pride should be encouraged. While pro-LGBTQ+ attitudes have increased dramatically over the last few years, with 64 percent of Americans now supporting same-sex marriage according to a recent Gallup poll, the queer community is still subject to hatred and violence. Marches and rallies are excellent for morale, particularly in sparsely populated states where community can be hard to come by.

But pride shouldn't be a replacement for anger. While LGBTQ-identifying Montanans have every reason to be proud of their identities, there aren't nearly enough reasons to be proud of their state. Not with a Legislature that can't be bothered to pass a statewide nondiscrimination act. Or when Sen. Steve Daines is on record saying marriage should be between a man and a woman. What's to be proud of when, just last month, a bartender at a popular Missoula bar allegedly bashed a gay patron's head into the sidewalk while yelling anti-gay slurs?

Pride Month isn't held in June just because the weather's nice. It commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which took place on June 28, 1969, when New York gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people fought back as police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar that catered to queers when few public establishments did.

The Stonewall Riots were an act of resistance against an arm of the state that actively sought to oppress people solely because of their identities. Pride is about owning that identity, yes, but it's also about continuing the fight for the rights that LGBTQ people are still denied.

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