By Melissa Ballard
Municipalities all over the world celebrated LGBT Pride in one form or another. So many events have been going on all around us …London, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Oklahoma City, Houston, Denton, and too many others to list! I hope you were able to celebrate PRIDE and will continue to daily.
“THE WORLD SLOWLY BEGAN TO TAKE NOTICE OF THIS EVER-GROWING POPULATION OF PEOPLE WHO WERE NO LONGER GOING TO ACCEPT BEING MARGINALIZED.”
President Obama also recently named the Stonewall Inn a national monument honoring the LGBT civil rights movement. The Stonewall Riots happened this very same week in 1969, before I was even born, but it was a monumental event in the community. These riots are the very reason PRIDE is celebrated in June across the globe and sparked the creation of many [now] LGBT groups and rights organizations such as GLAAD, PFLAG, HRC and others. The world slowly began to take notice of this ever-growing population of people who were no longer going to accept being marginalized. Interestingly though even after all these years, some of the core Stonewall activists were people of color and are still not given their due credits for standing up against the primarily white police officer raids that were often happening in Greenwich Village, New York at that time. Forty plus years later, we are still dealing with marginalization of people of color in the LGBT community.
So far this year at the beginning of June, there have already been 14 transgender people reported murdered….not to include those who were not gendered correctly, not reported or not investigated. Sadly, almost all of these people were black trans women. When will this hate and evil stop? Last year, 21 trans individuals lost their lives to murder (not to mention the suicides) – the most ever recorded. We are on a trajectory to surpass that number in 2016 if the current trends continue. As a parent of a transgender child, I fear for him daily in public and as a LGBT community ally, I have to fight for equality amongst all the family members and not just those who now have marriage equality. We have a long road ahead in human equality for all those LGBT members. While marriage is a start and many people have been able to take this step over the past year, they can still lose their jobs for being gay or even their homes and personal rights in the public domain.
“WE MUST ALL MAKE A STAND AND MAKE SURE THE UNIFIED LGBT VOICE IS HEARD.”
This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed and dealt with from the leaders of the USA down to the local civil representatives in office. We must all make a stand and make sure the unified LGBT voice is heard. We have to keep reaching out to people and showing them that LGBT folks are no different than anyone else. Being active and visible in the community at large is a huge way to make a stand.
“I cannot imagine being the parent who kicks my child out or disowns them because of the person they feel they are supposed to be or love.”
This past weekend our family went to the Resource Center’s [Dallas] new location in Cedar Springs for Family Day and played games, made artwork and toured the new building. The same weekend, we also went to an event at the Cathedral of Hope celebrating the #scotus decision regarding marriage rights for same sex couples. These were public LGBT events and we attend them as a family to show anyone and everyone we are not ashamed of our child who happens to be transgender and pansexual. He deserves love and acceptance and we chose not to be his first bullies. I cannot imagine being the parent who kicks my child out or disowns them because of the person they feel they are supposed to be or love.
Even though there have been some incredible events during June PRIDE 2016, there were the tragic deaths in Orlando and the hate that followed. Even locally a so-called “pastor” celebrated the senseless killings of 49 just a mere 3 weeks ago. There was a peaceful protest that took place at that local church in Ft. Worth, where a group of LGBT people and allies went to show the people of the church what love was supposed to actually look like. The “pastor” threatened to shoot anyone pro-LGBT that were to come near his church when he heard they were assembling. Somehow I think he missed that whole sermon Jesus had about “Love Your Neighbor”. I wanted to be part of the protest because that man and anyone like him do not understand God, Jesus and love. The group that was there did a great job and there were no reports of any incidents as there was ample police protection on hand and detailed safety plans in case of any issues. I chose to not go to the protest this time and instead to only celebrate like we did last year when the ruling from #scotus came down.
Love Wins…every time, and will keep on fighting and winning.