This statement was written by Spencer Pride president, Jonathan Balash, on behalf of Spencer Pride.
As we kick-off Pride Month, we are reminded of the history of the modern fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights in the United States, which was influenced strongly by the Stonewall Riots in New York City in June of 1969. Pride Month is an opportunity to educate about LGBTQ+ people, history, & culture. It’s an opportunity to reflect on our past as well as what is needed to ensure an even brighter future. Pride Month also gives us a platform that we can use to highlight injustice. We understand that our mission of creating a more welcoming place for ALL people can only be achieved if we come together to raise each other up.
To that end, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the injustice experienced every day by members of the black community, some of whom are LGBTQ+, in the United States. We recognize that the black community is systemically oppressed. Discrimination against black Americans throughout this country is wrong & must stop.
The LGBTQ+ community knows the fight to simply be respected in our dignity & our humanity. The LGBTQ+ community has long suffered discrimination & abuse, & too many lives continue to be lost in the hands of those without tolerance. While there are similarities between our struggles, there are also countless differences as well. In the end, what matters is that we should all be focused on eliminating discrimination in all the ways it is manifested, whether it is based on the color of one’s skin, one’s gender identity or the gender identity of the person we love, the place we were born, the color of our hair, the accent with which we speak, the place that we direct our prayers (if we pray at all), the year we were born, our physical capabilities, or any one of the many other ways in which we see discrimination every day.
Today, on the first day of Pride Month, 2020, we want to make our voices loudly heard that we proudly stand in solidarity with the black community, & we affirm that black lives matter.
President, Spencer Pride