‘Full Frontal’ gives hilarious primer on Pride’s roots (hint: brands were not involved!)

By Joe Berkowitz

What: A thoughtful, funny look at the origins of Pride.

Who: Comedian Patti Harrison and the rest of the team at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.

Why we care: Pride is here, and that can only mean one thing: time for brands to ever-so-bravely court the LGBT demos they all but ignore the rest of the year. On Thursday night’s episode of Full Frontal, correspondent Patti Harrison ventures out to the Stonewall Inn to “learn” more about the roots of Pride. (“Learn” is in scare quotes because anyone familiar with either Harrison’s comedy or how satirical news shows work knows that she’s just playing at being the naif here, and already knows all of this stuff.) During the segment, Harrison, who is a trans woman, meets with Lala Zannell, trans justice campaign manager for the ACLU to discuss “that one time a year we celebrate queer people’s right to exist.”

As Zannell points out, Pride was not started by pandering brands but rather by trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson who were tired of being persecuted. Johnson was one of the activists at Stonewall who threw bottles and rocks in response to a raids on the establishment, which had been something of a sanctuary at a time when being openly queer was illegal in most of the country. It’s an important and still funny segment that suggests Pride can ultimately be both a protest and a party.

“If you remember that we came from a place of rebellion,” Zannell says, “it would help you move forward in your everyday life to continue that liberation, all while looking fabulous and celebrating.”

Celebrate Pride’s roots and its present by watching the whole Full Frontal segment below.

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