Pride month is an extraordinary time, and the related festivities this June mark the first time in two years that we can all come together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. For decades, GLIDE has stood up for, sat in for, marched in the streets for – and opened its arms and doors widely – for the LGBTQ+ community. I am honored to be part of an organization with such a remarkable legacy of LGBTQ+ commitment and advocacy.
During this month of Pride, I am feeling hopeful and engaged – not because we have achieved full equal rights and universal acceptance of our diverse community, but because despite the challenges we recognize in our nation, I believe we are on a positive trajectory towards those ends. We are on a trajectory that more people have joined, and new generations continue to fuel. Although the fight is far from over, we see more people understanding what we have known for decades – that equality is not a zero-sum game.
There is a hostility in our nation that is born out of anger and unfounded fear. It is an extremist view that incorrectly perceives any legal recognition, rights, and enfranchisement gained by a historically marginalized group in this great society, that somehow another group of people — their people and their nation — will lose. The devastating circumscription of women’s rights as a result of the repugnant Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision reflects the realities and dangers of such zero-sum perspectives.
A concurring high court opinion supporting the erosion of other rights, including same-sex marriage, indicates that if unchecked, these extremist perceptions and policies will further marginalize more people and individual rights in our country. LGBTQ+ rights are the targets of growing campaigns of antagonism across the nation. For some, the right to marry whoever you love or living out a true gender identity is an infringement on their way of life and beliefs. A wave of such animosity has resulted in 28 states introducing anti-LGBTQ bills; 8 states have signed those bills into law.
As we celebrate Pride and the intersectionality in the LGBTQ+ community, we must take this moment to recognize the intersectionality of all of our rights. The year’s San Francisco’s Pride Parade — which GLIDE will proudly once again participate in — offers us all the opportunity to enthusiastically celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and unite in solidarity for our interconnected human rights. We must never be deterred from pursuing equality for all, which is the foundational underpinning of coming together at Pride. To march, to be visible, to be heard, to not live in fear but to be free, and to come together to strategize against the threats to our collective freedoms and celebrate our capacity to overcome them. Our intersected rights to privacy, access, and identities cannot and must not be threatened.
Radical inclusion is a GLIDE core value and key to our ongoing social justice organizing and advocacy efforts at the city, state, and federal levels. The ways we seek to overcome systemic homophobia, racism, sexism, and all other inequities will change the future for our children. We strive to make the rest of society more like what we recognize is possible here at GLIDE, a place that forever stands with and for the LGBTQ+ community, for justice, and always for all the people.
With unconditional love and solidarity,
President & CEO, GLIDE