Marking the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Friday, June 26th served as a day of celebration among the LGBTQ community as many reflected on their social and personal struggles and triumphs throughout the years.

To commemorate the virtual event the major live stream took on a positive yet serious tone as America continues to grapple with, both, the pandemic and the social unrest triggered by police brutality affecting the Black community. All walks of life to part in the conversation including Barack Obama, Demi Lovato, Joe Biden, Katy Perry and more, each of whom spoke of their personal life experiences and hopes for the future.

The former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate appeared early in the broadcast to support the cause. Pointing out that “Pride is particularly poignant this year”, he saluted “the lives of trans individuals, especially Black trans women” who “helped bring life to the movement.” His colleague, and former President Barack Obama called Stonewall “one of America’s defining victories for civil rights” and applauded the continuing fight going on in government: “Just this month, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can no longer discriminate against LGBTQ employees.”

“Usually on Pride, I’m thinking, ‘what banger can I listen to that will fill my heart with joy?'” said Katy Perry during her appearance but this year, however, she’s turned the focus on using her platform to uplift the LGBTQ community and speak out against police brutality. Also chiming in was Demi Lovato, who declared, “As a member of the queer community, I feel so much pride joining Stonewall Day,” and urged people to support those in need during the benefit live stream.

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Photo: jenniferlinneaphotography