Sunday, January 8, 2017

LGBT Pride Matters

Originally published on Facebook on June 28, 2016.

As we approach the end of June, Pride Month is coming to a close. I have seen such beautiful celebration this month along with immense pain especially in light of the violence in Orlando. I've seen amazing support and frightening hatred. And I've heard as some have grown tired of the celebration of LGBT Pride, annoyed that there is even such a month with parades and celebrations. Why do they need a whole month anyway?

Then on the weekend, I woke to discover another transgender child took their life... another parent was grieving a loss no parent should have to grieve. Once again, I felt sick and couldn't seem to find words to respond. This is why language and words matter, safe spaces matter... this is why bathrooms ARE a big deal... this is why names and pronouns and everything else MATTERS. This is why our churches need to stop hurting and figure out how to actively be places of healing. This is why Pride matters.

Ongoing violence against LGBT people - the ones you hear about and the many more you don't. Alarming rates of homelessness, suicide, self harm, and at risk behavior among LGBT youth. The hatred and discrimination pointed at people who just want to use the bathroom. LGBT Pride is an act of defiance in the face of all those who would have the LGBT community hide in fear and hang their head in shame.

We will not be quiet. I will not teach my daughter to hide. I am thankful for all those who celebrated this month. It was a wonderful example to my daughter that she is a reason to celebrate. She can be proud of every part of who she is, transgender and all.

Pride Month may be ending, but the work of the LGBT community and its supporters is certainly not. I hope and pray for a world where all LGBT youth feel safe, loved and celebrated. It's going to take all of us to get there. #pridematters #lgbtpride#lgbtyouth #protecttranskids

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