Happy LGBT Pride Month!

Pride monthOn Friday the White House released a Presidential Proclamation making June National LGBT Pride Month. What a lovely start to the month that I consider the official start of summer. For many people, summer is a magical time. Schools let out, whether gets warm and sunny, and it’s the season for swimming, barbequing, and outdoor fun. It seems fitting that June should also be a time for celebrating the trials and triumphs for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Intersex, HIV-affected, Asexual and beyond. 

In both celebration and solemnity, I wanted to take an opportunity to highlight some of the resources, posts, and happenings related to LGBTQ activism.

#LGBTendSV: A few weeks back I recapped my experience at the PA LGBTQ Summit: Bringing Sexual Violence Out of the Closet. Check that one out, or check out the even more succinct recap offered on the SAAM blog

NCAVP Hate Crimes Report: Even though we live in a nation that honors June as Pride Month, we also face systemic bias and oppression against LGBTQ people. This system allows for the conditions that tolerate hate violence, including sexual violence as a hate crime, against these individuals. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs releases a yearly report on hate violence in our nation. Definitely worth a gander. 

Debriefing from local hate crimes: While the NCAVP report discusses the stats, allies and activists in my world are also trying to come to terms with hate crimes that have happened recently in our own backyard. It’s always jarring, but, sad to say, never surprising to me when brutal beatings and murders happen close to home. Thankfully, I have some friends that remind me of the importance of acknowledging the pain this brings in a communal space. It’s a needed part of my healing process as an anti-violence activist. 

Marriage Equality comes to PA: Last week during a staff training, we learned that a judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage and the governor decided not to oppose the decision. This is exciting because for a long time, we’ve been discussing anti-LGBTQ oppression as a root cause of sexual violence. This oppression includes the laws and policies that treat same-sex couples as less-than in our society. 

Although just a few points of interest, I’m glad to be able to highlight this month and these resources for you today. For more on the nuances of sexual violence against LGBTQ people, check out the resources in the information packet or the special titles list in the NSVRC library. Happy Pride Month, happy reading, and happy summer to all!

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