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For Pride Month, our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion team has compiled a variety of LGBTQ+ training resources focused on the intersectionality of the Pride movement. Here’s a sampling of what we’re sharing internally to celebrate Pride.
“June is Pride Month when the world’s LGBT[QIA+] communities come together and celebrate the freedom to be themselves.” While most Pride events are held in June, some cities celebrate at other times of the year. Today, celebrations include parades, picnics, parties, workshops, and concerts.
The original organizers of Pride chose this month to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern gay rights movement.”
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It is widely recognized by linguists that languages must evolve and adapt throughout time in order to survive. Language is an important way in which humans shape their identities, so it is important to continually learn and use terminology that accurately represents those diverse identities.
LGBTQIA+ is an acronym used to refer to people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual. Gender and sexuality are generally understood as part of a spectrum, as such, there are many different ways in which people define them.
The LGBTQIA+ Resource Center at UC Davis has a comprehensive glossary of terms to help give a more thorough but not entirely comprehensive understanding of the significance of these terms.
Before the now-iconic rainbow flag was created, there was no specific symbol for LGBTQIA+ rights. At the time, one of the more common symbols was a pink triangle, which had been reappropriated from its use by the Nazis who forced gay concentration camp prisoners to wear it.
In 1978, artist and designer Gilbert Baker was commissioned by San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk—one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US—to make a flag for the city’s upcoming Pride celebrations. Baker, a prominent gay rights activist, worked with Lynn Segerblom, his roommate and co-chair of the 1978 Gay Freedom Day decorations committee, to conceptualize the colorful rainbow design which gave a nod to the stripes of the American flag but drew inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the many groups within the gay community.
A subset of flags also represents other sexualities on the spectrum, such as bisexual, pansexual, and asexual. You can see the transgender flag at the very end of the video above.
To honor Gilbert’s memory a rainbow font was created in his memory. The Gilbert font in the video below is available for free.
While there’s still much work to be done, many others before us have laid the groundwork for equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people under the law. In a historic victory for gay and transgender rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2020, that federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity—discrimination currently allowed by laws in 27 states.
Intersectionality is a term coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap. Identity is inextricably intersectional because it is formed by these different individual characteristics.
“LGBTQ and same gender loving African Americans have helped to shape the course of American history…In an interview with the Center for Black Equity, curator Aaron Bryant says, ‘It’s difficult to tell the story of African American history and culture without acknowledging the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans who cover a spectrum of identities and experiences, including gender identities and orientations. Our goal is to tell the story of America’s history through an African American lens, and so the museum embraces and celebrates the fact that black communities are diverse, as is American culture and history.'”
Read more about trailblazers to know and watch a few of their stories below:
“On June 27, 1969, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York City touched off a series of protests and militant actions that would come to be called the Stonewall Riots.
The uprising was sparked by constant police harassment and repression of the LGBTQIA+ community. From that moment on, Pride was about protest.
Now – 51 years later – people are once again in the streets, protesting police brutality. The fact that these Black Lives Matter protests are happening during LGBTQIA+ Pride month highlights the links between these two movements. Both are struggling for liberation.”
In 2018, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 26 transgender people suffered violent deaths in the U.S., a majority of them were black trans women. So far in 2019, seven transgender people have been violently killed, according to the HRC. All the victims in 2019 were Black trans women. Additionally, trans women of color make up four out of five anti-trans homicides, the HRC said in a 2018 report.
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Speaking to the importance of intersectionality, it’s important to also recognize Juneteenth in the discussion of Pride month. Juneteenth, short for June nineteenth, is an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Watch to learn more: