50 Years Later: Why Stonewall Still Matters

LGBTQ inclusion in the United States seems to have progressed at a two-steps- forward-one-step-back speed from the days immediately following the Stonewall riots through to the political climate of today.

Chad Smith
Jun 27 · 5 min read

How far have we come?

The progress that has been made in this area is striking. One need look no further than Pete Buttegieg, who is probably the most high profile example of how far we’ve come; an openly gay man who has emerged as a top-five contender for President of the United States. Other examples of late include Lillian Bonsignore being appointed New York City’s new Chief of Emergency Medical Services, the first woman and openly gay person to achieve the honor. The progress is evident in other parts of the world as well, as shown in 2009 by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland’s first female prime minister and the world’s first openly lesbian head of government; Luxembourg’s first openly gay prime-minister the first transgender representative recently elected in the Phillipines. And in what has been described as a watershed moment, Ireland has an openly gay prime minister in Leo Varadkar.

Where we are still lacking?

For every development that advances LGBTQ inclusion, such as Taiwan’s recent historic legalization of same sex marriage, there are other places around the world where the prospects of such a development taking place are slim to none. And employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community still exists. For instance, LGBTQ people in the OECD are 7% less likely to be employed than non-LGBTQ people, with homosexual applicants being 50% less likely to be invited to a job interview than their heterosexual counterparts. Labour earnings for LGBTQ people are about 4% lower and they are 11% less likely to hold a high managerial position.

Is full LGBTQ equality attainable?

We have talked a lot about inclusion, but equality is a more subjective concept. What does equality mean for people striving to achieve it? And what does equality mean in a workplace?


Whether full LGBTQ equality will be attained will depend on your definition of equality. And that definition will be very different 50 years from now, in much the same way that the environment for the LGBTQ community has changed over the last 50 years. But while LGBTQ equality is certainly attainable in certain parts of the world, achieving it worldwide may not be feasible.



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Chad Smith

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Fitch Pride Network Global Chair #LiveProud #TakePride #BeTrue

Why? Forum

Commentary from Fitch on why we think what we think.