June is Pride Month!

June is Pride Month!

Merissa Echaniz, Journalist

June is Pride month!

Have you ever wondered what pride month represents? Or where it started? Or how you  can help the LGBTQ+ community? I’ll touch on all of that in this article, but first, pride month is a  month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Pride month is in June in honor of the 1969  Stonewall uprising in Manhattan.  

The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the  United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay  Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew  to encompass a month-long series of events.” (article about LGBTQ pride month written by The  Library of Congress [www.loc.gov]). The first pride march was June 28th, 1970, a year after the  Stonewall Uprising. This month is about celebrating all of the things that people that belong to  the LGBTQ+ community have done for the country and the world. Pride month also highlights  the hardships that the LGBTQ+ community has faced throughout history. Donating to  organizations that help and benefit the LGBTQ+ community. 

There are tons of organizations that you can donate to, not just during pride month but  year round. There is the Ali Forney Center which is a non-profit based in New York that is  dedicated to supporting LGTBTQ+ youth homelessness. On their website  (www.aliforneycenter.org) they talk about their mission, “Our mission is to protect LGBTQ  youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with tools needed to live  independently.” Carl Siciliano founded AFC in honor of Ali Forney. Ali Forney was a gender nonconforming teen who fled their home at 13 and who entered the foster care system. They  were bounced around to different homes but ended up living on the streets at 15. Ali Forney  was dedicated to helping young people. As well as publicly advocate for the safety of the  LGBTQ+ youth. The AFC has grown and has become the largest agency dedicated to the  LGBTQ+ homeless youths in the country. They assist over 2,000 youths per year. To learn  more about the Ali Forney Center, look at their website at www.aliforneycenter.org.  

Another organization that you could donate to is The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project  is an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the  LGBTQ+ youth under 25. This organization has 5 main programs. There is the crisis services,  peer support, research, education and public awareness, as well as advocacy. The crisis  services include crisis intervention and suicide intervention to LGBTQ+ youth through phone,  text, and chat. These are open 24/7. Peer support is a safe space social networking community  that the LGBTQ+ youth can choose to be a part of. Advocacy in this program means that they  are constantly advocating for the LGBTQ+ youth at federal, state, and local levels. They fight for  policies and laws that benefit the LGBTQ+. Their research and evaluations aid The Trevor  Project into constantly improving their services. Their education and public awareness section  includes training, programs, and content that promotes awareness around issues and policies  that are relevant to the LGBTQ+ youth, as well as the adults who support them. Within the 2020  annual report, they said, “In addition to our direct services, we invest in key program areas that help ensure LGBTQ young people never enter a state of crisis in the first place. This holistic  strategy — driven by our subject matter expertise, data, and innovative approaches — makes  The Trevor Project uniquely impactful and a world leader in LGBTQ mental  health.”(www.thetrevorproject.org). This alone shows a part of The Trevor Projects mission to  end suicide amoung the LGBTQ+ youth.  

The Ali Forney Center and The Trevor Project aren’t the only organizations that support  the LGBTQ+ community. When donating to an organization, make sure to research fully how  they section off their donation money. There are organizations that keep most of the profit and  give little to the cause they actually presented themselves with. Whether you donate to these  donations during pride month, year round, or you’re not able to, speaking about these  organizations, their cause, and their importance to the community is important.  

Pride month is about celebrating everybody in the LGBTQ+ community, whether  closested or not, this month is about everybody that belongs to the LGBTQ+ community. It is  important to recognize how much people have done and fought for basic rights just to be who  they are and love who they love. It is also important to realize how much work still needs to be  done. Advocating and lifting up voices from the LGBTQ+ community, not just during pride month  but every month, is crucial to continuing the work that needs to be done.