Dear CECT Volunteers,
As we come to the end of this year’s Pride Month, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on what Pride means to us. Being part of the LGBTQIA+ community and seeing what is happening to my community has enraged, saddened, and worried me in equal measure. It has been difficult to focus on the good when so many in this community are facing trauma and disaster brought on by homophobic and transphobic protests and legislation.
So allow me a moment to address the joy and celebratory moments happening within the LGBTQIA+ community. Pride marches have been successfully occurring across the country all month. For the first time, Vibrant Emotional Health will be marching in NYC’s Pride March on Sunday, June 26th. We’ll be starting our march in mid-afternoon. If you’ll be there or watching the broadcast, look out for us in our blue Vibrant pride shirts! You can find out more about the march, including the route and broadcast information, here: https://www.nycpride.org/event/nyc-pride-march
More than marches, there have been several reasons to celebrate across the world this year. In the United States, Dr. Rachel Levine became the first Senate-confirmed openly transgender federal official. Apayauq Reitan made history as the first out transwoman to run and complete the Iditarod, Alaska’s 1,000-mile sled dog race. There was a record number of LGBTQIA+ athletes in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, and a Japanese court ruled that not recognizing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. And in Central Africa, Angola has officially decriminalized same-sex relationships, allowing their LGBTQIA+ community to find safety and happiness at home.
Remember, LGBTQIA+ pride does not occur solely in June, and there is always news to celebrate even while we are targeted for harassment and criminalization. Whether it’s going to Outfest’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival in July, reading or listening to LGBTQIA+ books, or finding LGBTQIA+ organizations to volunteer and donate to, there is plenty for LGBTQIA+ people and our allies to engage with all year round.
Pride may have started as a protest against police brutality and unjust laws, but it is now equally a place for radical and unwavering joy in the face of persecution. Vibrant and the CECT aim to support and bring that fierce joy to all–and we hope you, our volunteers, take some space to do so as well.
May you find joy and pride this summer,
Data and Operations Coordinator
Crisis Emotional Care Team