by Judy Bokao

In June 1969, an uprising was launched and it paved the way for a new era of revolution and LGBTQIA+ activism. The Stonewall riots were a significant moment in the LGBTQIA+ community. It inspired the formation of numerous gay rights organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and OutRage. Thanks to those brave individuals, LGBTQIA+ people now have more freedoms and have recognized rights. The riots inspired people to stand up as one and join the fight and resist harassment for decades.

It has been a long journey, but the legacy still lives on and we celebrate it…


Music is a large part of any culture and one of the things we universally draw strength from. The LGBTQ+ community, too, use and celebrate music: it’s a universal language and can play a part in starting conversations about sexuality.

A few decades back, it was unusual to hear LGBTQ+ music being played on the radio. Coming out was considered a career death move, and many LGBTQ+ artists didn’t have alternative platforms to get their music to the masses. It is now 2021 and we can hear musicians from all genres openly bring representation and breaking down the barriers thrown…


by Judy Bokao

Working for trans diverse rights in East Africa

Africa is one of the most difficult places to live when you are queer. Most African countries consider being LGBTQ+ a crime and have harsh legal punishments in place. It is therefore extremely hard to operate NGOs that support LGBTQ+ rights in Africa. There have been numerous cases of LGBTQ+ activists in Africa being killed and some have had to flee their home countries because of violent homophobic threats. Luckily, transgender people in the East African community have found an ally in East Africa Trans Health & Advocacy Network (EATHAN), an NGO formed to organize and advocate…


by Sassafras Lowrey

Street scene with pride flags
Street scene with pride flags

Whether flying at Pride Festivals or adhered to car bumpers, LGBTQ+ pride flags have become some of the most popular and common symbols to represent the community. Many of us wear them on our clothes, fly them from our homes or businesses. We also look for them when visiting a new city or area to get an indicator of how LGBTQ+ welcoming and accepting that area might be. Like many symbols, the various pride flags that we have come to know, love and fly to represent various LGBTQ+ identities have come about out of a desire to…


by Madison Rose

When someone graduates high school and college, they face an immense amount of pressure to know exactly what they want to do with their life and to know how to do it. With a pandemic still raging around us, though, our vision of the future is even more muddied than it ever has been before. This should be the start of normalizing gap years, odd jobs, change of degree, and self-exploration. …


by Isabella Zollner

What we know about the Capitol Riot only scratches the surface of a much more sinister truth. As I write, the FBI is investigating the collusion and planning that may have gone on behind the scenes to create an insurrection of this size. Several FBI officials have confirmed that this was not only planned beforehand, but hints at a deeper collusion and possible inside job.

Look, we all remember what happened at the Capitol. But so few of us understand the layers of symbols and codes that Trump’s extremists decorated our Capitol with. Flags, shirts, hats, and…


by Judy Bokao

Every day, are there hundreds of gay men in Africa dying from HIV-related illnesses due to homophobic laws that makes it difficult for them to be tested and treated. According to the Lancet HiV Journal published in 2019, a study of the data of 45,000 gay men in 28 African countries including Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria found only one in four living with HIV were taking medication.

According to the research, only half had taken an HIV/AIDS test in the past 12 months and researchers said the low rates were due to anti-LGBT laws in many African…


by Ryan Shea

Holy moly — we are getting old! Millennials, especially ones like me who straddle the line between that generation and and Gen-X, are constantly being reminded of how different things are now compared to our younger years.

Back then we spent our days after school actually hanging outside with no cell phones in sight where JNCO’s, Aeropostale and Hot Topic were common clothing brands we rocked. Shows like Total Request Live took over our universe and became our first version of other things like it in years to come like Facebook and MySpace.

Something our generation couldn’t…


by Christine Kinori

Human rights are global. However, if we all campaign for human rights without mentioning the specific groups of people suffering from discrimination and violence, we are not making any difference. Over the years, feminism has positively impacted the fight for equality in the lives of LGBTQ people worldwide.

When we focus on the concept of human rights, it is common knowledge that we all have equal rights irrespective of our sexual orientation, sexual identity, or gender. However, this is not usually the case as LGBTQ+ people are subjected to inequality in several areas of their lives. …


by Sassafras Lowrey

JoJo Siwa— the giant hair-bow wearing, super talented dancer, singer, actress, and all-around social media personality who got her first start on Dance Moms — is in the spotlight in a new and exciting way. JoJo came out! It turns out there might have been some queer symbolism in all those rainbow hair bows, rainbow sequins, and rhinestone outfits that have taunted so many of us in the Target kids clothing section (why don’t they come in adult sizes?!).

Over the weekend, JoJo posted on Twitter: “My cousin got me a new shirt,” and the accompanying photo…

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MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

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