The celebration of Pride is truly a time for LGBTQ+ individuals to reflect on our past selves, our past loves and most importantly, our past history as a community. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Bonobos is acknowledging the past by celebrating members of the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders who are moving us all forward to a brighter future.
Bonobos applauds those who speak up for others who might not have a voice, and with World Pride just around the corner, Bonobos aims to extend the voices of some LGBTQ+ activists who are continuing to make a difference in the community. One activist who is using his platform to drive the movement forward while keeping the community's rich historical progress top of mind, is Tom Capelonga. Capelonga is a writer and frequent Out contributor whose writings have also appeared in Paper, GAYLETTER, and Hello. Mr. Capelonga's advocacy is rooted in his passion for LGBTQ+ pop culture through the decades.
In order to keep working toward a world in which everyone is accepted, Capelonga firmly believes that we need to understand the history of the movement in order to identify what needs to be done to keep moving forward. Through his popular Instagram, @TheChristopherStreetReader, Capelonga has found a way to highlight the history of the LGBTQ+ community that is both relatable and inspiring to today's youth activists. "Sharing my love of history makes me feel connected to my community," explains Capelonga, who stresses that while we have made great progress, we as a community still have a long way to go.
This year's monumental Pride is of course a reason to celebrate, but Capelonga's work is a daily reminder that we can't forget about our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters who have paved the way for us to walk freely today.
"Pride in 2019 is about celebrating our history," he reiterated. Sharing other people's stories and experiences can sometimes cause Capelonga to reflect on his own journey that has led him to inspire and move others. "I didn't always think I fit in growing up," recalls Capelonga, "now I honor those qualities as strengths."
True to this belief of honoring our past, Capelonga curated a timeline to be displayed in select Bonobos Guideshop windows across the country, including Bonobos' hometown of NYC. Capelonga was excited for the opportunity to highlight key community milestones in hopes of educating the 4 million+ visitors who will be coming to NYC for World Pride.