Embrace pride and greater understanding and acceptance of gender diversity

Internationally, in June, we celebrate a part of our population misunderstood by some and marginalized or attacked by others. In fact, we are seeing a resurgence in hate crimes against our fellow human beings.

We celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and gender diverse (LGBTQI+) people during Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. 2024 marks the 54th anniversary of the first Pride parade. The goal is to commemorate the historic impact of LGBTQI+ people, expand the legacy of Pride, and raise awareness of how communities can embrace the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender diversity.

Pride Month honors the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York.

On June 28, 1969, but not for the first time, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York. At that time, in every state except Illinois, acts of “homosexuality” were illegal. LGBTQI+ people were regularly harassed and criminally prosecuted for various gender expressions.

Stonewall Inn was considered a safe space for many young people before the police raid. Angered by police harassment and social discrimination, the events of June 28 triggered six days of demonstrations and reawakened the movement for LGBTQI+ rights.

A year later, the first pride parade took place. The parade brought together thousands of people and spanned 15 city blocks. Subsequently, many other cities began holding their own pride parades. Pride Month, first recognized in 1994, came about when a coalition of educational organizations in the United States also designated October as LGBTQI+ History Month. The federal government recognized June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month for the first time. On June 1, 2021, the month of June was designated LGBTQI+ Pride Month.

Unfortunately, members of the LGBTQI+ community, particularly transgender and gender diverse people, and their contributions have often been ignored or pushed aside. Therefore, in the tradition of Pride, we elevate gender diversity by affirming our commitment to loving fiercely, living authentically, and confronting repression and stigma together. We invite Monroe County residents to join us.

As we celebrate Pride this year, we are encouraged by the curiosity of others to know facts about gender diversity. Many community members ask us about their children, grandchildren, and other youth and young adults in their lives.

When a parent asked us for help understanding their young adult’s identification as non-binary, we were grateful for the opportunity to have an open conversation in which this parent could ask any questions they might have. he wanted without fear of being judged.

Like this parent, many parents learn that sex and gender are separate parts of ourselves. Sex is associated with biological characteristics and generally assigned at birth as…

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