Happy LGBTQI+ Pride Month!

 Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQI+) Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which began on June 28, 1969 in New York and were a critical marker and catalyst of community organizing for LGBTQI+ rights in the U.S. Two transgender1  women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, participated in the riots and later became leaders of the gay liberation movement, including, in 1973, demonstrating and speaking out against racism and transphobia in the LGBTQI+ community at the parade after the organizers banned "drag queens" from participating. 

In honor of this tradition, June is a time to reflect on and celebrate the leaders and gains made in the movement for LGBTQI+ equality. Several important achievements in the struggle for LGBTQI+ recognition and inclusion have been made recently. The largest number of openly LGBTQI+ athletes in history, 182, competed in the Olympics in the Tokyo games last summer, three times the number, 56, who participated in the previous 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. The U.S. currently has its first openly gay Cabinet Secretary, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, and the first openly transgender person confirmed by the Senate to a federal position, Assistant Secretary to Department of Health and Human Services Rachel Levine. Locally, in February of this year, State Representative Keturah Herron became the first openly LGBTQI+ member of the state House of Representatives in Kentucky's history.   

Yet, LGBTQI+ individuals continue to face numerous forms of injustice and oppression. 2021 set a record for the most anti-LGBTQI+ bills introduced in a year, with over 100 bills in 35 states across the country proposing to limit services and rights for LGBTQI+ people, from restrictions to medical care for transgender youth to making it more difficult for transgender people to obtain accurate state IDs. In addition, according to the most recent National Crime Victimization Survey findings, LGBTQI+ people are close to four times more likely to experience violence, including simple, aggravated and sexual assault, compared to non-LGBTQI+ people. Below are potential ways to join or continue involvement in efforts to promote LGBTQI+ rights and freedom.

Get/Stay Involved 

Join us at the 2022 Kentuckiana Pride Festival, co-sponsored by several units at the university, including the Kent School of Social Work & Family Science, on Saturday, June 18th https://kypride.com/ 

Support the Louisville Pride Foundationhttps://louisvillepride.com/ 

Support Sweet Evening Breeze committed to supporting LGBTQI+ youth experiencing homelessness: https://sweeteveningbreeze.org/ 

Support the ACLU of Kentuckyhttps://www.aclu-ky.org/en 

More information about the history of the LGBTQI+ rights movement can be found here: https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/history-of-gay-rights  

1Both Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera self-identified as transvestites. The term transgender was popularized in the early 1990s. 

Emma M. Sterrett-Hong, Ph.D., LMFT,  

Licensed Psychologist 

She/Her/Hers what’s this? 

Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion