The story of the strength and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community is one that everyone should know. The struggles and successes are a testament to the perseverance of countless inspiring individuals. This is the real legacy of the Pride movement, and why we chose to highlight six significant events and locations on our 2023 Camino Pride gummies tin. Below, we’d love to highlight these important touchpoints in LGBTQ+ history and show you why they deserve to be known and remembered well into the future.
On New Year’s Eve in 1967, police raided the LA gay bar The Black Cat Tavern and made arrests, which sparked a 200-person protest. This now known as the first monumental LGBT civil rights demonstration and a milestone in the movement. It is the moment when people first stood up together and said “no more.”
Two years later, in June 1969, patrons of the NY bar The Stonewall Inn refused arrest, leading to a multi-day protest whose impact rocked the country. This uprising is now seen as a defining moment in American Gay Rights history, igniting the modern-day rights movement.
Moving into monumental locations- the Castro district of San Francisco is an unmistakable landmark and safe haven for LGBTQ+ folk. Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, it played an integral role in the rights movement. Decades of community activism cemented its recognition as a culture center commemorating a rich history of civil, social, and gender rights in San Francisco.
Speaking of cultural centers- Chicago’s Boystown is one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the nation. It was the country’s first official gay village- an iconic home to many community businesses, organizations, and institutions. Today it’s known as a groundbreaking epicenter of LGBTQ+ culture and also the site of the annual Chicago Pride Parade, one of the largest Pride parades in the world.
Ferndale in Michigan is another inclusive, welcoming town well-known as the most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood in metro Detroit. In this picturesque community, diversity is encouraged and celebrated due to activists who worked tirelessly at promoting safety and integration. Ferndale is a reminder that small communities can create significant change and provides a template for how diversity efforts can benefit the entire community.
Finally, we have Fire Island in New York, one of America’s first gay beach towns. This LGBTQ+ gathering spot has provided sanctuary since the ‘40s- offering queer people the distance and safety required to be themselves away from oppressive laws. This tiny island was also the site of a landmark rights victory in the ‘60s when 27 men were acquitted on charges- those cases becoming landmark victories in the gay rights movement. Today, Fire Island is a reminder of the joy and celebration that comes with being a part of an accepting community.
The Pride movement has come a long way since the early days of protests and riots. Today, LGBTQ+ people have more legal protections and rights than ever before, but there is still work to be done. As we can see from the past, the path to liberation begins with a first courageous step- and it’s one each of us must take if we’re going to create a future with equality and acceptance for each and every one of us.
The team at Kiva is incredibly proud of our 2023 Camino “Pride” Passionfruit Punch gummies. It was originally launched in 2019, when Kiva’s lead product developer spearheaded the project as a love letter to her LGBTQ+ family. Like the community it honors, the Camino “Pride” product has gone through much evolution in these past years- but the heart of why we created it remains the same: to bring people together and to make a positive impact. We are proud to share that since launch, Kiva has donated over $200,000 to LGBTQ+ charities- including The GLBT Historical Society, Harvey Milk Center For The Arts, GLAAD, Transgender Law Center, The LA LGBT Center's Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP), GLAAD, and FOLX HRT Care Fund in partnership with the National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition (BTAC). This year’s donations are focused on local organizations in each of the states Camino Pride will be available in- including California, Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, and Massachusetts. These organizations include the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF), Unique Women's Coalition, Akron Pride Festival, and Ruth Ellis Center. Partnering with all of these impactful organizations to uplift this incredible community is a legacy we are overjoyed to have. We hope that Camino Passionfruit Punch gummies’ exhilarating effects help raise you- and all folx who stand for inclusivity and love- even higher.