While George Floyd’s death sparked a worldwide movement, the murders of at least 12 transgender Americans so far this year have occurred almost unnoticed. According to FBI statistics, nearly one in five hate crimes is motivated by bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans of all races.
While we are embracing Black Lives Matter, Pride Month reminds us that LGBTQ lives and livelihoods also matter. Pride celebrations, which have gone virtual this year, commemorate the June 1969 riots at New York’s Stonewall Inn, often considered the beginning of the modern-day gay rights movement. While many people think the struggle is over — and even mistakenly believe that LGBTQ Americans now enjoy “special” rights — 28 states do not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and there is no federal protection.
In 1998, Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, said, “Homophobia is like racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people — to deny their dignity, their humanity and their personhood.”
The board members of the Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia celebrate the diversity of the arts community and believe that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable, whether it’s based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.
AFMC supports Pride Month and equality for all Americans.