Legacy Leaders: The Promise of Stonewall
By BEQ Pride Editorial Team
The dictionary defines Legacy as a gift or a bequest, that is handed down, endowed or conveyed from one person to another. It is something descendible one comes into possession of that is transmitted, inherited or received from a predecessor. In many ways, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Non-binary, Gender-Non-Conforming, Same-Gender-Loving, Plus community has always enjoyed a rich legacy of courageous, brilliant and creative people who have quietly and not-so-quietly built the foundation of the community and its culture.
When biological families fell short, many found the courage to create and build new families, communities and livelihoods that subsequently allowed others to feel safe, freely express themselves creatively, apply their mental or physical talents to solve difficult problems facing humanity, to compete at the highest levels or to build wealth. And, for the fortunate—those with affirming, loving and supportive families, good health and money—they too played a role by leveraging their privilege on behalf of the community.
Many of these people are celebrated in books, movies, history lessons or even commemorated on stamps. We regularly celebrate their accomplishments during LGBT History Month and Pride. These posthumous celebrations are wonderful, but BEQ Pride wants to celebrate the legacy that our leaders are building now—while we can show our appreciation for their hard work and how we intend to build on that foundation. It’s all about the legacy we’re leaving. Their hard work and perseverance are a gift, a bequest to us all.
Our inaugural list of Legacy Leaders Over 50 is complete. In this special section, we have an exciting tribute to a group of amazing community members in honor of the courage of the individuals who fought back and stood up for their rights and the rights of others at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in 1969.
We have curated a vignette for each leader that includes a portrait, a short impressionistic description and advice or wisdom they’d like to share. Our website includes an expanded profile, often in the leader’s own words, intended to provide insight into their sources of inspiration and their motivation to lead. Their lives and the legacies they are building are the promise of the uprising at Stonewall.
Our Legacy Leaders embody a simple credo:
- Animo (courage)
- Officium (service)
- Dignitate (dignity)
We are thankful for the generosity of our faithful readers who were our eyes and ears in curating such an esteemed list of people doing the heavy lifting and who are responsible for the continuation of the rich legacy of leadership across the community.