‘Keeters Celebrate Pride Month

Caroline Withers

Editor’s Note:

Pride Month is celebrated in June as a tribute to the gay rights activists who led the Stonewall Riots, an event often considered as the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. Pride offers the opportunity to remember the work of LGBTQ+ civil rights activists, acknowledge the work still needed to achieve full equality, and celebrate self-expression and love. To kick the month off, we connected with a few ‘Keeters to hear about what this month means to them. Check out what they had to say below, followed by additional resources on how you can partake in honoring the history of LGBTQ+ people and supporting them today.

Digital Content Specialist Lindsey Johnson:

“Pride Month is significant to me because it is when all of the LGBTQIA+ community can come together and celebrate. I know the parade and parties are a lot of fun, but there is more to it than that. Through Pride, I can show my authentic self and feel safe without the fear of unacceptance. This month is a way to normalize LGBTQIA+ in society and reminds us that we have made progress, but equality still isn’t there yet.”

Lindsey Johnson

Digital Content Specialist Dani Marzouca:

“For me, Pride Month is about recognizing and honoring the trans women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and all the people inside Stonewall Inn who dared to refuse brutalization by police for simply being queer. LGBTQ+ discrimination is so pervasive in our society that it’s a revolutionary act to believe myself worthy of living in dignity and love. I owe my sanity, my well-being, and my life to the pioneers that came before me and proudly carry their torch to call for equal rights and freedom from police brutality.”

Dani Marzouca

Senior Digital Content Specialist Emily Clemens:

“Pride is a time to showcase and highlight family diversity. To me, it’s also a time to show my daughter love has no limits, and that’s something worth celebrating.”

Emily Clemens

Senior Digital Content Specialist Abbi Havens:

“As a straight-passing lesbian, I have a lot of privilege. I’m able to move more freely through spaces than many of my friends who live in fear of being hate-crimed for presenting as who they are. Even so, I feel a certain level of danger displaying affection in public. Living in the South, I am hyper-aware of who may be watching, and who may have a problem with me. To me, Pride means safety. Pride means not living in fear. Pride means recognizing I have the rights I do have (however recently awarded) because of the work and sacrifice of Black and Brown liberation activists of the Stonewall Uprising and beyond. I’m eternally grateful. Happy Pride, y’all!”

Abbi Havens

Digital Content Specialist Nic DeSmet:

“Pride is about visibility, but also kindness and education. It’s about that kid who was raised in shame and hate witnessing positive interactions and outreach from community members who are or ally with LGBTQ+ friends and family. Gay and queer teens still face higher rates of abuse from peers and family members and higher rates of self-harm than other kids their age. Being an Active Bystander for a colleague/family member/total stranger can have a huge impact.”

Nic DeSmet

Ways to Celebrate:

Read the works of LGBTQ+ authors