“We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation” by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown— Pride in History

Riemer, Matthew and Leighton Brown. “We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation”, Ten Speed Press, 2019.

Pride in History

Amos Lassen

“We Are Everywhere” is a beautiful photographic history of the Queer Liberation Movement, from the creators and curators of the massively popular Instagram account @lgbt history. If you plan on adding a new book about the movement and pride, you should consider this striking volume that actually brought tears to my eyes more than once.

The photographs were shot through the lenses of protest, power, and pride making this book an essential and empowering introduction to the history of the fight for queer liberation. It combines researched narrative with meticulously curated photographs as it traces queer activism from its roots in late-nineteenth-century Europe and long before the l Stonewall Riots of 1969 to the gender warriors who are leading the charge today. We have more than 300 images from more than seventy photographers and twenty archives, this inclusive and intersectional book enables us to truly see our history unlike anything before. We have glimpses of activism in the decades preceding and following Stonewall, family life, marches, protests, celebrations, mourning, and Pride.

Here we challenge many of the assumptions that dominate mainstream LGBTQ+ history by showing readers how they can–and must–honor their queer past in order to shape our liberated future. It is the past that we see and read about here and it is the past that pushes us to the future. It is so important to know that the fight for justice and equality came together on the streets outside Stonewall, with brave patrons of a bar fighting back but this was neither the first nor the last time that we fought for equal rights. you need to read We Are Everywhere right now. Our history hasn’t been taught in schools; it’s been passed from person to person, whispered through the ages. But we whisper no more. We are on the pages of this book and we see  as Anderson Cooper says, “our pride and power, our blood and tears, our love and laughter. This is our fight, our history, and we must learn it, embrace it, and never, ever, forget all those who fought and died so that we may live.”

 

We are now living during a time when we once again feel repression against us and in order to move forward we must know and understand where we have been. This important book shows in words and pictures the proud legacy of resistance that we  have to draw upon, as we continue to fight today for freedom and justice. 

“We Are Everywhere” has something for everyone. In it we see queer people of all backgrounds and that “we have a history, a family, and a legacy to take pride in.”  It gives us  a chance to experience the queer past in all its complicated shades. We go beyond one-dimensional stories of gays and lesbians who are ‘just like everybody else. Writers Riemer and Brown show us the radicals— the bisexuals, the gender warriors, the women, the people of color, and the militants who have always led the fight for liberation. If we forget what we fought so hard for, we will feel the  consequences of forgetting. Photos and representation of the vital, powerful LGBTQ movement for equality and liberation are rare today and we are lucky to have these. Here are images of queer activist protest, lives, and power filled with the joy, anger, resilience, and impact of a movement that is still changing and making history. 

Leave a Reply