Pride is so important to the LGBTQ community.  Across the country and around the world celebrations include everything from parties to parades. These events are filled with joy; they provide us an opportunity to share our love and support for who we are. 

That said, our Pride celebrations serve another purpose, one which many believe is even more important. They provide much-needed visibility to the causes of the community. Even with all we have achieved, we still have a lot to do.

Our ability to celebrate Pride is a direct result of the hard work and years of activism by the members of the LGBTQ community. We need to take a lesson from their actions; we are still marginalized in so many ways. Together we can use our Pride to strive for equality and continue to advocate for acceptance.  

Three things to consider focusing upon include: 

  1. Supporting LGBTQ Youth: As adults, protecting the physical and mental health of the youth who identify as members of our community is critical. We need to offer them and their families support, safe spaces, and assistance as needed. Together we must advocate for them in schools, helping to reduce bullying. We must continue to educate everyone.

  1. Reducing Violence Against Transgender Individuals: The fact that transgender individuals are a target for violence across the country is an issue we must work hard to address. Each and every person has the right to live peacefully, without worrying about their safety. Violence against those who identify as transgender is a significant issue. We must continue to educate, advocate and protect.

  1. Advocating for Parenting Rights: While we know that being a good parent has nothing to do with sexual identification or orientation, members of our community still struggle and face legal roadblocks to becoming parents. In fact, some states prohibit adoption by same-sex couples. We must band together to support the rights of all in our community. The best aspect of parenting is the ability to provide a safe and loving home. LGBTQ individuals can do this as well as anyone.

This year while celebrating Pride, let’s look back and remember those who gave so much in the past. Their work provided us with the opportunities we have today. And, let’s take a close look at where we are and where we want to be. Together we can work to make tomorrow better than today. We can continue to advocate for equality and acceptance.

Remember, Pride is a celebration, one we can leverage for a better tomorrow.