Celebrate Pride by committing to equality, justice, and liberation
by Affirmation Executive Committee
Pride has its roots in the fight against inequality, injustice, and oppression. To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride last year, Affirmation marched at World Pride in New York City, past the Stonewall Inn. It was there that Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, and Stormé DeLarverie, a lesbian with a black mother, spurred on others to join them in their resistance of yet another police raid at a gay bar. The LGBTQ+ community owes much to the strength, bravery, and resiliency of these minority women, and so many others who fought against inequality, injustice, and oppression, even before Stonewall. Our celebrations of Pride are possible because of their actions.
A decade after Stonewall, Affirmation became a national organization and marched in both the Los Angeles Pride Parade and the March on Washington for Gay Rights in 1979. Both of these events were a direct outgrowth of what happened at Stonewall.
Affirmation has long been committed to working for the understanding and acceptance of all LGBTQ+ people as full and equal persons in society. We recognize the truth in Civil Rights Leader Fannie Lou Hamer’s words that “nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” Nobody is a full and equal person in society until everybody is a full and equal person in society. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” It is in this spirit that we as an LGBTQ+ community kick off this year’s Pride in solidarity with the black community.
Here at the start of Pride Month, the murder of George Floyd reminds us that horrific injustice still exists today and that such injustice is rooted in racism and the disregard for the humanity of our black siblings by those in authority. Far too many instances of death and debilitation have occurred at the hands of those who swore to protect and serve us and our black neighbors. One instance is one too many. The pattern over time is indicative of a systemic crisis that no one should ignore and that we must work diligently to solve.
By understanding the mission of Affirmation, recognizing our interconnectedness, and recognizing our intersectionality with those directly impacted by these atrocities, we can take informed action against racism. If you are wondering where to start, Erik Lovell from our Affirmation Chicago Chapter has created a 30-day calendar for racial justice for the month of June to learn about systematic oppression, the experiences of people of color, and what to do to address racism.
Affirmation’s Executive Committee commends the Human Rights Campaign open letter condemning racial violence and joins with other LGBTQ+ organizations in saying #BlackLivesMatter and committing ourselves to the action those words require.
We invite the Affirmation community to celebrate Pride this month by joining us in committing to equality, justice, and liberation.
Nathan R. Kitchen, President
Laurie Lee Hall, Senior Vice President
Jairo Fernando González Díaz, Vice President