Submitted by Dr. Taji Karim-Reisch, Board of Trustees
Pride is a deep connectedness to oneself and a belongingness within a community. The month of June celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Allies and Pansexual (LGBTQIAAP) PRIDE. Over the last decade, the acronym evolved to be inclusive of all identities.
Prior to the late sixties, 49 states considered being part of the gay community illegal—PRIDE was not celebrated—it was denigrated. Same-sex relationships were forbidden, and persons were ostracized for who they loved. Controversary about the gay community persisted for centuries; however, the tone shifted one summer night in NYC.
In the United States, the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 in Greenwich Village, New York catalyzed the Gay Liberation movement. Stonewall Inn was a community bar where LGBTQIAAP patrons openly expressed their identities without abuse. The uprising was triggered by a police raid that aimed to enforce anti-Homosexual laws. The patrons of the establishment aligned to defend their individuality, and against the perception that they are unwell or deviant. These stigmatized individuals demanded civil rights, and their stance became a watershed moment for gay activism and awareness in the NYC community.
One year later, in 1970, the first Pride march was held in NYC, to commemorate the anniversary of the uprising. Grassroots activists fiercely led LGBTQIA from every income, race, and region toward real social change. It was a movement of equal voices that empowered the people to emerge from the closet and transform their fear into purposeful action. In 2021, LGBTQIAAP Pride is celebrated with a month-long series of celebrations, picnics, parades, workshops and demonstrations to promote equal rights. The time is also used to memorialize people who died from hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and to increase awareness of the positive impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people have had on civil rights history locally, nationally and internationally.
At NFSB we actively express compassion and justice through our policies. We embrace diversity and inclusivity by providing clinical services that are LGBTQIAAP informed.
Katherine Carmichael, Executive Director, comments, “Our clinical staff is sensitive to how aspects of personal identity combine in complex ways to both advantage and disadvantage individuals in society, an important consideration for LGBTQ+ affirmative interactions. It is through this lens of intersectionality that a range of issues best can be explored for positive outcomes”.