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Casey Gamboni, Ph.D., LMFT
• June 28, 2019

Safe spaces to socialize and express yourself in however way you see fit is something everyone aspires to find. We’ve seen these spaces shown in popular television series like the bar from Cheers, ‘Central Perk’ from Friends, and Saved by The Bell’s ‘The Max.’ Which is why when you find these havens, you cherish them. These celebrated examples of mostly white and heteronormative representations of community, reinforce a narrative that is not socially accessible to many different groups.

For decades the LGBTQ community has had to suppress not only their identities, but also those same aspirations for places to express themselves freely. Sexual minorities have flocked, and continue to flock to gay bars and clubs to find refuge to express and socialize with others without fear. Which is why on June 28, 1969, when police officers invaded a bar called The Stonewall Inn because of “suspicious behaviors,” patrons and neighborhood residents took the invasion into their own hands and sparked what is now known as The Stonewall Riots. 

That one night led to six days of protests and violent clashes with police officers outside the bar and surrounding neighborhoods. Many consider the Stonewall Riots the catalyst for the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States and around the world. Every year, the Stonewall Riots are commemorated with Pride parades and celebrations around the world. This year is the 50th anniversary of that early summer morning in 1969. To call this significant event a “riot” seems inaccurate when really it was an uprising, an organized rebellion against authority and the established rule.

So to my heterosexual/cisgender allies: next time you walk into a gay bar or watch a pride parade, I want you to utilize the 3 R’s: 1) Recognize where you are, 2) Respect those who have to fight for the rights that are easily handed to you, and 3) Remind yourselves of the privilege you have, and fight for those same rights to be afforded to the LGBTQ individuals around you. 

Happy Pride, everyone. 

Casey Gamboni, Ph.D., LMFT

Clinical Lecturer

Dr. Casey Gamboni is a marriage and family therapist who completed his Ph.D. in couple and family therapy the spring of 2019 from the University of Iowa. His masters is in marriage and family therapy from The Family Institute at Northwestern University which was completed the spring of 2016. Dr.