June is Pride Month, for the International Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Community. It is a celebration of our human dignity. While Pride month sparks many parades, celebrations, prayer services, and reminders of our past, we continue to look to the future with a great deal of hope.
Our Pride Celebrations are a beacon of hope, and joy for both our community and our allies. It is a bitter sweet time because we also remember the many members of our community who were allowed to die in isolation from HIV/AIDS a story we must never allow to be forgotten. While those were dark days in our human rights journey, by coming together as a community we brought light to that darkness.
In our Pride celebrations we must never forget our LGBT families, seniors, and youth. Far too many LGBT Families with children are still struggling just to get their children protections that any other family would have through the institution of marriage. Our LGBT youth endure bullying not only on the streets, but also in their schools and all too often are thrown out of their homes to fend for themselves resulting in far too many suicides. Our LGBT Seniors must face in many cases the hostility of neglect when they seek care in assistant living care programs and homes. Sometimes, even among us, they are not given the dignity and respect they deserve.
While Pride is a time to remember the wonderful diversity of our community, which includes our straight allies; it is also time to look over our shoulders and understand how much has been accomplished by our Civil Rights Movement in the name of human rights. It is also a time to remember how much still needs to be done.
Stonewall was the beginning of our present Civil Rights Movement for LGBT Rights, but we must never forget without the Black Civil Rights and Women’s Movements our movement would not of been possible. We stand on the shoulders of so many. This does not diminish our pride, but rather holds it up as a torch for all to see that the human rights movement in this country is alive and well, and that we are all interconnected no matter our race, gender, age, or sexual orientation.
It is my hope that you will take time out of your busy lives to enjoy this month in a safe and responsible manner, and always remember who you are, and that you are needed by this community.
Rainbow Sash Movement