Saturday, June 06 2020
June is a big month. It’s a month in which we focus on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), health and safety, men’s mental health, and it’s Pride month!
What is Pride? Pride is a time when we acknowledge LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and additional sexualities/genders) individuals in our community. That in and of itself is huge and important, but it’s also more than that. I personally realized that while I know that Pride is a time to celebrate love, promote equality, and raise awareness for LGBTQ+, I had never looked into the history of Pride month.
History is a place where we can find insights, see where we have grown, and identify where we can continue to grow to make new history. I encourage you to dig into the history of LGBTQ+ people, rights, and Pride (here’s a good place to start! https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/).
You might find that LGBTQ+ people throughout history have been criminalized and killed. You may see how often LGBTQ+ folks have been bullied, ridiculed, given abusive forms of therapy, and sexually assaulted. In fact, in our field, we know that trans individuals are murdered at a rate 12 times higher than the general population and 2/3 of trans individuals experience sexual violence. 1 out of 2 of lesbian, bi, and queer women experience sexual violence and 1 out of 3 gay, bi, and queer men experience sexual violence. Both of these rates are higher than heterosexual counterparts.
In response to the oppression and violence that LGBTQ+ individuals faced, the LGBTQ+ community came together, protested, and worked incredibly hard to create change. A flyer from the first Pride month in 1970 states “...thousands of homosexuals went to the streets to demonstrate against centuries of abuse; official betrayal of their human rights by virtually all segments of society; from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of gay bars, and anti-homosexual laws.” (check out the flyers here: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A860296684/pages).
This Pride, we are thankful for the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBTQ+ community has helped us learn about people and acceptance. The LGBTQ+ community worked incredibly hard to build a society that feels safer and more equal. We recognize that all oppression and violence is connected and that there is so much more work that needs to be done to create a world where all human beings are safe, equal, accepted, and healthy. We also recognize that in order to create the best world, we all need to be a part of it.
Currently, the Safe Place team has heard the call to look more closely at what work needs to be done to create that world. We strive to be in a constant state of evolution to be the best advocates, service providers, and people that we can be. We are looking at ourselves and the work that we do even harder than normal to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for everyone now and in the future.
Tell us what you think, what voices need to be heard, and how you are creating a welcoming and safe world!