Happy International Pride Day

Charlotte Overby
|June 28, 2024
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To help kick off Pride Month this year, Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) staff and volunteers led an LGBTQ+ Meet-Up hiking group to see parts of Caja del Rio—a spectacular place just west of Santa Fe, New Mexico. As part of a broad community coalition, CLF has been working to protect and steward this area for several years.

LGBTQ+ Meet-Up hiking group at Caja del Rio

LGBTQ+ Meet-Up hiking group at Caja del Rio

It was a beautiful morning, and we saw raptors, wildflowers, and dozens of lizards darting around the craggy rocks.  We also visited La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and wondered about the people who had made them and tried to imagine some of the stories they may have told. By the end of our hike, we had shared a few of our own stories with each other - and had a new one about visiting the Caja.

Pride Month is all about telling stories. In the U.S., Pride Month traces its roots back to the Stonewall Inn in New York City, where police routinely harassed LGBTQ+ people who patronized the Inn. After years of raids and violent arrests, there was a spontaneous and defiant response from patrons, particularly by transgender women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, that sparked several days of protests and marked a turning point in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. This uprising galvanized the community and led to the first Pride marches held in June 1970, commemorating the Stonewall uprising anniversary.

Stonewall National Monument

Stonewall National Monument in New York City. Photo by National Park Service.

Pride Month has evolved into a time of commemoration, celebration, reflection, and advocacy.  The site of the Stonewall protests is now a National Monument, established June 24, 2016 by President Obama using the Antiquities Act. And conservation organizations around the country help mark and celebrate Pride Month by organizing hikes, stewardship projects, festivals, and parties that bring LGBTQ+ individuals and allies together.

CLF wants to wish everyone Happy Pride, and may the stories of our activism, celebration, and advocacy lead to greater protections for treasured public lands like the Caja del Rio, and to greater love for all people.

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About Charlotte Overby
Vice President of Conservation Field Programs at Conservation Lands Foundation and New Mexico resident.
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