Last week, the Human Rights Campaign declared its first-ever state of emergency in its 40-year history, in response to some sobering truths:
- 75+ anti LGBTQ bills have been signed into law in 2023 — more than double last year’s
- 2023 is the worst year on record for anti LGBTQ+ legislation as 525 bills have been introduced in 41 states.
- 20 states have banned gender-affirming care
As I contemplate this year’s celebration of PRIDE, what it means for me personally and what it means for the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, I was moved to write a letter to the LGBTQ+ Community with my personal thoughts on the current climate for LGBTQ+ individuals in this country and abroad. I can’t help but view the HRC’s declaration as a call to collective action for our own community, as well as for our allies and loved ones. I hope you’ll join me.
You know who you are and why I’m writing so late in the night.
We’re in jeopardy you and me. I’m sure that’s obvious given the current climate but there is a much more insidious current pulling us under…our gradual erasure from humanity.
Have you been reading the news?
It’s a lot about punishment. You can’t have this, and you can’t do that. Don’t travel here. Imprisonment and death there. Don’t read those books. How dare you use that bathroom. Don’t say gay. Don’t be queer. Just don’t be.
PRIDE started as a protest. And though we celebrate it now with a parade and parties, it still is.
Protest resides in each of us. That’s what PRIDE means. PRIDE is tender and aching. It’s as real as our beating hearts and the blood in our bodies. PRIDE is breath. And though it may feel labored and tedious at times, it is all ours. Keep going. Because you deserve to be here.