Happy Pride Month! Pride is about celebrating the value, dignity, and sacrifices of LGBTQIA+ lives and community. For African Americans, if ALL Black lives truly matter, this must include cherished members of our own community such as Bayard Rustin, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde, among many others who paved paths for us by fighting (and some continue to) as leaders in the Civil Rights Movement but who too often had to hide and/or painfully minimize their identities as members of the LGTBQIA+ community.
Celebration of Pride should be both a resounding statement of solidarity where we shout, "We are one!"- as well as a commitment to transform ourselves and our community so that none of our people feel that they must deny their full humanity by being forced to minimize the intersectionality of their lives when it comes to race, gender and/or sexuality.
Pride, in its essence, is rooted in our shared history of resistance against oppression and the pursuit of equality for all. Its origins can be traced back to the courageous activism of Black LGTBQIA+ individuals who led the charge for change, igniting a movement that would reverberate across the globe. From Marsha P. Johnson, a prominent Black Trans activists who stood at the forefront of the Stonewall uprising, to countless other activists, artists, and community leaders whose names may be less known but whose contributions are no less significant, we recognize their sacrifices in laying the groundwork for the liberation and progress we continue to pursue today.
NAZ is proud of Minnesota and the recent passage of two laws supporting our LGTBQIA+ community - HF 16 banning conversion therapy and HF 146 establishing Minnesota as a refuge state for trans people, their families, and health care providers.
To those in our LGBTQIA+ community, both on the Northside and beyond, we see you and we stand with you. Happy Pride!