VIDEO: Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David on Centering Activism During Pride Month

by Alphonso David

Today, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David released a video celebrating the first day of Pride Month 2021, emphasizing the importance of recentering activism in Pride. Click here to watch the full video and find a transcript below.

As Pride Month begins, I wanted to take a moment and share what Pride means to me this year. Pride is often the first time that some people are able to show up as their authentic selves in the world and find community. Pride is about feeling a sense of kinship, that feeling of being seen by someone who sees you for who you are and understands something about you on a fundamental level. Pride is about building a chosen family, meeting new people who end up becoming lifelong friends.

Pride is also a time to focus our activism. We have many threats facing our community, and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we must unite to defeat threats to our lives and well-being.

We must re-center activism in our celebrations, and we must remember Pride’s revolutionary origins, which started as a fight against police brutality led by Black and Latinx trans women. And we must remember that our activism is often a matter of survival.

This Pride month, we will honor our origins by taking the next steps towards building an intersectional future where trans and racial justice remain at the core of our work. That’s why it is important to connect with each other in the spirit of joy and community. Because these are the building blocks for the future and ultimate success of our movement.

Thank you for all you do to support equality, and thank you for joining us in the fight for liberation. Happy Pride.

Last year, the global reckoning on race collectively forced the nation to think about the role of activism in our Pride celebrations and everyday lives. HRC responded by calling on LGBTQ organizations to center racial justice as a mission critical priority, and calling for transformational change in policing, both calls of which hundreds of organizations answered in the affirmative. This year, the Human Rights Campaign continues to center racial justice in our work.

This Pride month, the Human Rights Campaign is calling on the LGBTQ community and allies to center intersectional activism and to develop new strategies to effectively meet the challenges of the moment. In that vein, today, HRC announced an intent to file a lawsuit challenging a newly amended law in Florida that bans transgender girls and women from participating in sports at the secondary and post-secondary level consistent with their gender identity. In addition, here are some other strategies that HRC is developing:

  • Supporting the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
  • Signing the Count Me In pledge to advocate for the rights and lives of transgender and non-binary people.
  • Learning more about and taking actions against the threats facing our community, including:
  • Joining with organized LGBTQ advocacy efforts.
  • Wading through difficult conversations about race, class, gender and sexuality with loved ones.
  • Creating and widening chosen families by making connections across differences.
  • Building new bonds and strengthening older ones by choosing to celebrate in joyful and safe communion.
  • Holding the legacies of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the Black and Brown trans women and gender non-conforming people leading our liberation movements at Stonewall and beyond as inspiration for what we can accomplish when we unite and fight.
  • Commemorating Juneteenth.
  • Honoring and celebrating June as Immigrant Heritage Month.

By engaging in these strategies and others throughout Pride Month and beyond the Human Rights Campaign believes this will set us on a strong path to achieve our goal of full equality for all LGBTQ people.

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