WASHINGTON, DC, June 1, 2020 – Today, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David released the below video statement on the first day of Pride Month 2020, recognizing both the importance of celebrating Pride and reacting to the recent rash of racial violence. Watch the full video and find a transcript below.
Pride in our community means pride in our resilience — and our resistance.
Pride started with protest. LGBTQ people — led in large part by transgender women of color — resisted police brutality and violence at flashpoints like Stonewall, the Black Cat, and Compton’s Cafeteria. We as a community refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living as our true selves. Our community understands what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter.
All these years later, Black people and the most marginalized across this nation are still facing brutality, are still facing injustice, are still facing indifference. Yes, we have won major victories in expanding civil rights for historically marginalized groups. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?
This moment requires that we make explicit commitments and take action to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.
We know from the best legacies of our leaders then and now — the LGBTQ luminaries and the footsoldiers for justice — none of us will be free until all of us are free.
So as we celebrate Pride Month, let us carry the work forward with greater intentionality to affect change for all of us, not some of us. Because while we may not be able to celebrate Pride in person this year, there is nothing to stop us from taking action.
I want you to be proud.
I want you to be proud at work, at school, and in your communities.
I want you to be proud at the ballot box.
I want you to be proud — and loud — in demanding full equality, racial justice, gender justice, and the true liberation of all people.
I want you to be proud of all the change that you have helped achieve and all the beauty and possibility that our community holds.
Because of you, I believe a better world is possible, and I know we will get there, together. Happy Pride.”
As Pride Month begins, the past several months have seen a rash of horrific incidents of racial violence and profiling in Minneapolis, Georgia, Louisville, New York City and more. As an initial matter, HRC joined with more than 100 LGBTQ and civil rights organizations in authoring an open letter condemning the racist violence of the past few months, and committing to make anti-racism the core to their missions of full equality. HRC has also requested federal investigations into these incidents and endorsed a Congressional resolution condemning police violence and urging Congress to take immediate action to pass legislation that will address these systemic issues.
We have also seen that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting the LGBTQ and other marginalized populations. HRC has released issue briefs showing that LGBTQ people are at higher risk of both the health and economic impact of the pandemic, with LGBTQ people of color at even higher risk:“The Lives and Livelihoods of Many in the LGBTQ Community are at Risk Amidst COVID-19 Crisis,” “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ Community” and “The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Communities of Color.”
In order to help the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride Month in this moment, HRC is today officially launching its #PrideInside toolkit, a series of resources to help HRC members, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride. The toolkit, which can be found at HRC.org/pride, will help people celebrate as they attend local virtual Pride events being held across the country, ensuring that LGBTQ people still feel a sense of community even while socially distanced.
To stay connected, please share your Pride photos and videos throughout June and this summer using the #PrideInside hashtag and visit www.HRC.org/pride.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.