Every year in June, parades, parties, concerts, workshops, and speaker series are organized to recognize the impact Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual, and Intersex (LGBTQAI+) individuals have had on our history, our culture, and our communities.
We are honored to work with speakers from the LGBTQAI+ community who facilitate important discussions year-round. We asked what Pride Month means to them.
“Pride Month is a call to action. As anti-LGBTQAI+ politicians pursue their cruelest agenda yet, Pride Month allows us to recommit ourselves to the fight before us in building a just and equal society for all. It’s also an opportunity to recharge—to find our hope and our light—as we celebrate just how far we’ve come since the first Pride Month more than three decades ago. If there’s one thing we’ve seen throughout our history, it’s that our community’s transformational joy will prevail even in the face of hate.”
“When I think of Pride Month, I think first of the Ancestors—William Dorsey Swann, Mary Jones, Marsha P. Johnson, Joseph Beam, and others—whose courage and moxie under extraordinarily hostile conditions remains the blueprint for how we might combat contemporary threats to the humanity of LGBTQIA+ people. From the absolute absurdity of “Don’t Say Gay” laws to the abject violences of anti-trans legislation to the banning of queer/trans literature to the emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual horrors of everyday, societal anti-LGBTQIA+ bigotry, we are facing battles on multiple fronts. Therefore, we must not falter in our resistance. Yes, Pride Month is a time to celebrate—our achievements, our survival, and our love for one another. But it must also be a time to reflect, galvanize, strategize, and prepare for a battle which requires that we be of one accord: none of us are free until all of us are free.”
—Robert Jones, Jr.
“To me, this month isn’t about events and parties so much as a feeling of centrality untethered to one spectacle–a centrality which, at its best, feels like normalcy. I want queerness that is casual, commonplace, and gloriously unremarkable.”
—C Pam Zhang
“Pride Month, for me, is a time to reflect on how far we’ve come—and how far we still need to go. It’s an excuse (not that I need one) to revisit books by some of the great LGBTQAI+ authors on whose shoulders we all stand—and also to visit my favorite local bookstore to discover great new voices on whose shoulders future generations will stand. It’s an occasion to celebrate our lives—but also to remember (as I try to do every day) all of those who are no longer in the land of the living, especially those who were taken from us by AIDS, violence, and hate. It’s also a time to have fun because why not?”