Persevering, Revolutionary, Independent, Daring and Everlasting! Let the festivities begin! Same-gender loving people from all over converge upon cities, small towns, and still hidden safe spaces to celebrate their truth. It is a time when our youth, some for the first time, openly express their whole selves. A time when those in their full glory link with buds and comrades to share in nostalgic war stories, first crushes, coming-out adventures, and commemorate those who have gone before them.

This time also brings smiles to the elders who once only dreamed of such a time when lesbian, bisexual, and gay people could show public displays of affection or run for office. They watch the younger generations frolic in laughter smitten with optimism of finding “the one” as they share intimate moments with their tight-knit circles what is on the horizon of those aging in the community. Discussion about health-care options, retirement concerns, and even the benefits of getting married at this stage of their lives.

However, between the intersection of Pride St. and Rainbow Ave. is the earliest highway reduced to a cuttaway, struggling for a placard to preserve the battle grounds graced as markers in history, and historical landmarks. Real Trans Talk finds itself sweeping the trash, repairing the cracks in what is left of the brick structures and potholes of Transgender Lane.

As Pride St. elongates into the annals of history with equality and Rainbow Ave. houses the increased level of acceptance and visibility, Transgender Lane quietly sits at a peculiar axis, or in new code, intersectionality of race, gender, and class as it always has. There on the lane remain the stools at Dewey’s counter once occupied by the fed-up “nonconforming” African- American teenagers in April of 1965 in Philadelphia, and those moved into action in August of 1966 at Gene’s Cafeteria in Compton, and again in June of 1969 when women of color, Sylvia Rivera and Marsh P. Johnson mounted barricades at Stonewall Inn in New York.

Persevering the forced suppression of self, their Revolutionary revolts spoke to the masses about recognizing the intrinsic design of the inner self and its mandate to be unboxed and unashamed. Independent in their experiences, yet Daring enough to grind together, these actions led by those who have recently been labeled transgender made an Everlasting mark upon history and humankind.

The message was not about who they loved outwardly but loving the inner self enough to no longer accept discrimination and mistreatment. Accepting their truth during a time when same-gender loving people were viewed as insane, those who rebuked their assigned gender was unprecedented. The self-aware students set the stage for Ms. Rivera and Ms. Johnson to continue to answer the call and stand on Christopher Street at the Stonewall Inn.

The irony of this truth is that as trans people walk under the festive rainbow they may feel pseudo-connected, marginalized. If coupled, some trans people may be read as allies when in reality she identifies as a lesbian and her partner as queer. A disconnect occurs. As the night falls and every flyer to the social events display a rainbow symbol and the venues do not have gender-neutral restrooms, does the LGBTQ acronym become just a cliche?

Yet things did not start out that way. How so?

As black gay man of trans experience meet and greet a cisgender man, will he be pressured or coerced into intimate acts because of his biological make-up? Will he feel empowered to say, “Let’s be safe.” Is he aware and supported enough to know that he can report such an incident and that his new orientation places him at higher risk to contract HIV? Will he choose to recycle himself because he wants to avoid questions like, “If you wanted to be with men what was the use of transitioning? After all, he rationalizes, “I’m a real man and I have to suck it up.”

How many lesbians will look pass that beautiful woman of trans experience who is also a lesbian because they do not view her as a “real woman” or politely say “Not my preference.” Hopes of meeting someone of like attraction slowly fade as the dim streetlights press her to retreat home on the bus. Traveling alone up Rainbow Ave, making a left onto Pride St. to be dropped off on Transgender Lane. The multi-ethnic trans masculine of center intersex person presenting androgynous who is contemplating carrying their child looks for community but finds themselves off the Pride grid because it’s a binary-orientation event.

In 1965, 1966, and again in 1969 those transient people stood in their truth — ’tis the reason for the season. African-American students and women of color birthed the beginnings of a global tradition. Yet, at the end of the 1992 New York City Pride, Marsha P. Johnson was found drowned in the Hudson River, “suicide,” so they said. Will the landscape of these annual events ever proudly parade the baby blue, white, and pink in conjunction with the rainbow?