Pride 2020: A Time for Reflection and Action
This month, we have lost another two Black trans women – Riah Milton and Dominque “Rem’Mie” Fells – to homicide, putting the intersection of the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBT+ rights movement into stark relief.
And the fact that it was Black women who started the Stonewall Riots that sparked the modern LGBT+ rights movement, and is commemorated each year by Pride, is a reminder of just how much the LGBT+ community as a whole owes its Black sisters and brothers.
These chilling deaths and the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and too many others is a powerful reminder of how much work we all have to do – individually and as organizations throughout society – to eradicate racism and lift up those who have been left behind.
But the LGBT+ community in the United States has also seen a major triumph this Pride month, and it is one that deserves great celebration. On June 15, the United States Supreme Court ruled that no American can be fired from their job on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a more hopeful reminder that although true equality for all people remains out of sight today, progress is possible.
This Pride month, I’m reflecting on the lessons of the LGBT+ movement and how I as an ally can help push for broader equality.
During my more than a decade as executive sponsor of State Street Pride, I have seen new rights won and equality expanded in law and in hearts in the communities in which we operate across the world. In others, the LGBT+ community still has a long road ahead, such as for transgender rights. But in many Western countries, the movement toward fuller acceptance of LGBT+ people in society, including the legalization of same-sex marriage, occurred with almost unprecedented rapidity in the history of social change. Yet people-of-color, and especially Black Americans, have struggled for centuries to gain true justice and equality in many countries and break free of the systemic racism that continue to permeate so much of our society and economy.
So this Pride month, I’m reflecting on the lessons of the LGBT+ movement and how I as an ally, a leader and as a citizen can use those lessons to help push for broader equality.
And I urge each of us to think about what we can do in our own lives to fight both the forces of homophobia and racism where we encounter them.
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Hannah Grove is our chief marketing officer. She focuses on engaging our stakeholders in ways that differentiate and add value. She is also on a mission to eradicate jargon. Hannah is currently listening to the "Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s" podcast and Arcangelo Corelli.