NO PRIDE FOR SOME OF US WITHOUT LIBERATION FOR ALL OF US.
~ Marsha P. Johnson
As an agency that aspires to see every child, every family and every community thriving, one of our goals is to provide comprehensive services and supports to ALL individuals and families, and to maintain a safe workspace for ALL employees.
As an organization committed to anti-oppressive and anti-racist values and practices, we recognize the intersectional realities of so many of the youth and families we partner with, as well as the lived realities of our staff community—how it is critical when doing any care focused work that we take into consideration someone’s full identity.
Since 2015, our organization has participated in HRC’s All Children – All Families work, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. HRC’s All Children—All Families program promotes LGBTQIA+ inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies and formally recognizes those agencies that are leading the field with innovative approaches to inclusion.
Children’s Home & Aid is committed to building an inclusive and affirming place for the families and youth we partner with, as well as for our own staff. It is in acknowledgement and in celebration of these identities that we as an organization recognize Pride month and choose to celebrate it, today and every day.
As we close out the month of June, we want to reflect on the significance and magnitude of the current moment in time and acknowledge the intersectionality of how we came to celebrate Pride Month and the longstanding fight for social justice.
Children’s Home & Aid stands in solidarity with and in support of our LGBTQIA+ community.
Understanding our history
On the heels of the Civil Rights movement nearly 51 years ago, the gay rights movement catapulted into the mainstream. While legislation in 1966 allowed for gay patrons at LGBTQIA+ bars and clubs to be served, engaging in what was then considered ‘gay behavior’ in public, remained illegal in every state except Illinois. Police raids were a frequent occurrence at many of these inclusive establishments that provided a safe haven for self-expression for many in the LGTBQIA+ community.
On June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York City, police violently raided a popular gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. For six days, protests and riots erupted in response to the ongoing police brutality and unjust treatment of the LGBTQIA+ community. Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender woman, was one of the central figures during what is now known as the Stonewall Uprising and remained a fierce activist for LGBTQIA+ youth well beyond. “We were just saying, ‘no more police brutality’ and ‘we had enough of police harassment in the Village and other places.”
While this single event did not begin the gay rights movement, which existed for decades before, it did become the galvanizing force that mobilized advocacy and political activism across the country. One year later, on June 28, 1970 thousands of people marched in the streets of Manhattan from Stonewall Inn to Central Park, and thus began the first gay pride parade.
The fight for justice for all
It is not hard to see the clear connection between the LGBTQIA+ movement and the Black Lives Matter movement. Without Black-led activism, the rights of many, specifically individuals of the LGBTQIA+ community, would look very different. Furthermore, it should be of no surprise that two of the three black women (Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors) that founded the global Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, identify as queer, and center intersectionality throughout the movement.
INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
While the movement largely centers on the violence inflected upon black men, such as Mike Brown, Eric Garner, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, the voice of the LGBTQIA+ community has remained, by design, at the center of the conversation. When we say their name, we must also include Riah Milton, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, and Layleen Polanco. Black and brown transgender people killed at the hands of police.
Today, millions of people around the country and the world come together to celebrate love, diversity, acceptance and self-pride. Pride month honors our past, celebrates the accomplishments of the present, and provides hope and rally for a more equitable future.