Celebrating Pride Month & Juneteenth
We hope you are enjoying June: a month to celebrate liberation and freedom for people in and around LGBTQ+ communities, and for those last to find out about their freedom from slavery 156 years ago.
In the midst of rainbow logos and merchandise, we invite you to remember the origins of Pride. It is so important to celebrate the wins and triumphs of LGBTQ+ people, but not with “Rainbow Washing,” and not at the expense of the work left to do to make sure everyone is protected and uplifted. We must remain aware that the commercialization of Pride often conflicts with its anti-establishment, anti-police brutality, and anti-racist origins, and that the fight for equality continues, specifically, as anti-trans bills are considered across the country, and trans people continue to experience violence and persecution. This month and every month, there are ways to get involved:
- The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
- There are numerous organizations on the frontlines fighting anti-trans legislation across the country.
- Progressive Shopper takes data directly from the FEC and lets you know how companies spend their money politically – i.e. sells rainbow merchandise in June but also gives money to political candidates hostile toward LGBTQ+ issues.
- Similarly, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index is a good tool for learning about corporations’ commitment to equality beyond the month of June.
- Almost half of LGBTQ+ elders in the U.S. do not feel comfortable disclosing their orientation to doctors, which can cause gaps in their quality of care and a fatal amount of stress. This PBS Newshour segment explores how we can reimagine health care language, especially around elderly LBGTQ members.
With Juneteenth come and gone, and the recent recognition of June 19th as a national holiday, we hope you will take time to reflect on the ongoing implications of slavery on Black Americans, especially as California kicks of its Reparations Task Force. We also hope you will consider the contradictions around the announcement of the holiday, with efforts across the country to ban discussions of race, and as Black low-wage and gig workers continue to work on federal holidays out of necessity. President Biden said it well when he signed the holiday into law, “We can’t rest until the promise of equality is fulfilled for every one of us in every corner of this nation. That to me is the meaning of Juneteenth.”
- WATCH: Juneteenth- 5 Things You Didn’t Know.
- READ: ‘we them people,’ A Poem About America By Kevin Powell. In recognition of Juneteenth, Powell shares an exclusive excerpt from his book When We Free The World.
100 Days With Our New Advocates
Western Center’s newest policy advocates, Cynthia Castillo, Tina Rosales, and Christopher Sanchez, met up outside the Capitol in Sacramento to share what they’ve worked on and learned in their first 100 days at Western Center – from fighting to keep people housed in the wake of the pandemic, to making sure people have enough to eat. Check out the video here.
We Need Your Vote!
Finally, in other exciting news, Western Center is a finalist in the 2021 My LA2050 Grants Challenge! We are among five finalists in the “Live” category, which puts Western Center in the running for a $100,000 grant to support our advocacy for Californians experiencing poverty. Public voting is live now until June 28th – we hope you will pop over to vote for us, and spread the word to help get out the vote!