Love Is Love: Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Members and Celebrating Pride Month
Pride Month occurs in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which happened at the end of June 1969. These riots ignited the gay rights movement. Since then, it has served to amplify LGBTQ+ needs and rights—such as protection against harassment and discrimination—while also recognizing the impact LGBTQ+ people have had in the world.
The National Federation of the Blind has viewed addressing discrimination and promoting equality as essential elements of our work. We continue to believe that these essential elements apply to all blind people who hold identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members. We celebrate the breadth of the world’s love in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ members. We are hopeful that recent Supreme Court language will provide additional protections for our blind and LGBTQ+ members seeking employment.
We strive to learn and grow in our understanding, thanks to our diverse membership. We are firmly committed to enacting our organizational diversity statement, which in part expresses, “We recognize that our views and convictions will be challenged, and we expect this challenge to take place in a climate of tolerance and mutual respect in order to maintain a united organization.”
Our struggle for civil rights and equality over the last eighty years shows that we are resilient. So too is the LGBTQ+ community. As we close Pride Month 2020, we express to our LGBTQ+ members that you belong with us, you have our support, your leadership is critical, and, together, we will continue to be resilient.
Please consider connecting with the National Federation of the Blind LGBT group to learn more. Join the LGBT group mailing list, the Facebook group, or contact the group's chairperson, Tai Tomasi, at 515-710-4402 or [email protected].
—Mark A. Riccobono