Kate Kroeger, Executive Director | 13 June 2016
Love is love. It is pride month around the world and I have been watching with awe and admiration the courage of LGBTQI people who are celebrating their identity and claiming their space in the face of threats. Sri Lanka held its first pride parade under such conditions. A victory. Thousands of people with rainbow flags marched safely in Ukraine in support of love. Progress. The Constitutional Court of Colombia upheld the country’s same-sex marriage law. Groundbreaking.
Yet here in the U.S. we just witnessed the deadliest public mass shooting in the country’s recent history, which targeted a largely Latinx LGBTQI community. While queer rights are gaining ground globally, hate crimes are on the rise in the U.S. and guns are everywhere. We have public officials who openly encourage both. It sickens me.
After the heartbreak and the prayers, which are surely needed, I hope we will look in the mirror and listen to our sisters and brothers in other countries who have made great gains on these issues. More than ever, we must come together in solidarity to support each other and ensure that LGBTQI people everywhere are able to live without fear of violence, discrimination, or hate.
Thank you for being a part of our community and for standing with us in support of love. As we continue to process this difficult moment, I offer a message of solidarity with queer people, and with all those who advocate for justice, peace, and equality.
We stand with the dancers, the music makers, the friends, and the lovers, who find solace in nightclubs in Orlando, or anywhere.
We stand with the peace makers, the big hearted, the open hearted, those who do not succumb to baser fears, but instead look for constructive pathways forward.
We stand, always, with the bridge-builders, with the activists, with those who make the safety and wellbeing of the whole community their concern.