Stonewall Was an Uprising: A Playlist for Finding the Joy in the Struggle

George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, and we stand in unequivocal support of the protests and uprisings that have swept the US since that day, and against the unconscionable violence of the police and US state. We can’t continue with business as usual. We will be celebrating Pride as an uprising. This month, Autostraddle is focusing on content related to this struggle, the fight against white supremacy and the fight for Black lives and Black futures. Instead, we’re publishing and re-highlighting work by and for Black queer and trans folks speaking to their experiences living under white supremacy and the carceral state, and work calling white people to material action.

no justice. no pride.


It’s a very strange Pride month. More than ever, I’m inspired by my radical queer and trans ancestors, who knew that we have to fight for our freedom, who knew that Stonewall was an uprising against police brutality, who would want to see queer and trans people celebrate Pride as the insurrection that it should be. But I’m also inspired by the protesters in my town, who recently made sure they weren’t going to have a revolution without dancing.

According to Susan Stryker, Marsha P. Johnson — who may or may not have thrown the first brick at Stonewall, but is a heroine regardless — “had this joie de vivre, a capacity to find joy in a world of suffering.” And for Black queer and trans people, insisting on cultivating joy might be the most radical move of all.

ADVERTISEMENT

White supremacy and transphobia would prefer I experience only a life of torment and desolation. But as an act of resistance, I refuse! How I do so depends on the day. For many of us, being a part of the movement is a joyful act! Or sometimes, it’s scrolling through accounts like blackjoyproject or blackqueerjoy on Instagram. Sometimes it’s doing a Zoom call and playing silly online games with my Black queer friends. Sometimes it’s sparking up and taking an epsom salt and bubble bath. Sometimes it’s teaching, or writing, or making art. And sometimes it’s turning up the volume and dancing! That’s what this playlist is for. Chock full of new bops (all released in 2020) and exclusively featuring queer and trans artists of color, this is the Pride playlist for allowing yourself a measure of joy as we struggle together during what could very well be the birth of a new, better, more just world. Enjoy!

The Playlist


Tracklist:

  1. “Guilty Conscience” by 070 Shake — A fuckboi anthem for the ages.
  2. “Wait On Me” by Siena Liggins — You’re so cute, why are you being slept on?
  3. “Dance Alone” by Tayla Parx — Remember what it was like to fall in lust with a cutie across the dance floor?
  4. “B.I.T.C.H. by Megan Thee Stallion — Haters gonna hate.
  5. “Ni Una Menos (Villa Diamante Remix)” by Chocolate Remix — I bet you didn’t know you needed a lesbian reggaeton bop in your life until now.
  6. “Pipe That” by Big Freedia ft. Icona Pop & The Soul Rebels — It’s not Pride if you don’t shake your ass, at least a little bit!
  7. “Go Bananas” by Don Elektron & TT The Artist  — it can be really therapeutic to get out of your own head and go wild once in a while.
  8. “Dripset” by Young M.A — yet another fuckboi anthem. She literally says “fuck love” and “I ain’t got time for your feelings” on this track!
  9. “Ya That’s Cool” by Ness Heads — work out your unrequited love on the dance floor with this one.
  10. “Number One” by Mila Jam — a slow-burn R&B jam you can still move to.
  11. “Tímida” by Pabllo Vittar and Thalía — Don’t be timid! Be your incredible, extra self!
  12. “Don Dada” by Cakes da Killa — this brings me back to dancing wildly to “212” at an Occupy Oakland protest in like 2013.
  13. “Only You” by Bronze Avery — Corny but cute.
  14. “Infrastructure” by St. Panther — Never forget how much of a badass you are.
  15. “Good Love” by Justin Ingalis — We’ll all get to fuck again soon, I promise.
  16. “Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys)” by Rina Sawayama — Try to channel some of that gay boy energy!
  17. “On My Own” by Shamir – “I don’t mind to live on my own” is some empowering quarantine vibes.
  18. “Microbios” by Mister & MANCANDY — Queer love is revolutionary!
  19. “Made It” by Teyana Taylor — Sometimes you have to manifest your own joy.
  20. “Shelly’s (it’s Chill)” by Blimes and Gab — This song’s amazing, but if you use Apple Music, cut out the last 5-6 seconds. Why do artists do this?
  21. “Be Kind” by Marshmello & Halsey — I sometimes think we hurt the ones we love just because of proximity. Especially now.
  22. “Rodeo” by Lil Nas X & Nas — This is a really cute collab.
  23. “Dive” by Victoria Monet — Queer women really needed our own oral sex anthem. This one even has the mid-2000s-era bed spring sound effect percussion!

Abeni Jones is a trans woman of color artist, educator, writer, and designer living in the Bay Area, CA. Follow her art on Instagram @abeni.jones or check out her website at abenijones.net. Got a music recommendation, a positive trans woman story/news item, or wanna book me for something? e-mail me by clicking here!

Abeni has written 58 articles for us.

2 Comments

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!