Here at Homeworks Trenton we recognize the profound courage it takes to stand up for what you believe in and present your authentic self to the world. This month, we honor YOU. The marginalized voices and hidden identities, those who reject labels and restrictions, and those who seek freedom and honesty. To those who don’t feel seen or heard and those who have stepped up as leaders to guide others using lessons learned from their own experiences - we thank you. We celebrate you. We follow you.
Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Uprising, which occurred in New York City in June 1969 after police invaded a gay club in Greenwich Village. The riots and protests that erupted across the city as a result are widely considered to be some of the most important events in the twentieth century fight for LGBT rights, which persists even today. Last year, the normal pride month festivities were brought to a halt by the pandemic, but this year many states are easing back into in-person events as restrictions continue to relax. Pride Month 2021 is officially underway! Last June also marked the rise of Black Lives Matter, a movement that goes hand in hand with Pride because they both represent the work that still needs to be done in the ever-enduring fight for social justice. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 13 transgender men and women were killed in 2021, and twelve of the thirteen killed were members of the Black, Latinx, and Asian communities.
At Homeworks Trenton, we recognize that change often starts in our own backyards. Trenton is an incredibly rich and diverse community that represents a microcosm of the intricate social relationships and individual identities that make up our country. Black and Latinx members of the LGBTQ community are especially targeted in hate crimes and discriminated against not only for their race but for their gender and sexuality as well. The problem is multilayered and deep, and there is still so much work to be done. But let’s not forget that Pride Month is also a time of joy to celebrate the victories won and the progress made, and to express hope for the future that’s to come. The responsibility falls upon each of us as allies of the LGBTQ community to make every individual person within our communities feel safe and loved.
As an ally, you can start by familiarizing yourself with definitions of words and phrases commonly used by the LGBTQ community and being mindful and respectful with your language, especially when it comes to pronouns and other labels. You can also show support for the community by shopping at retail stores that have pledged to give back to nonprofit organizations working to advance the rights of the LGBTQ community, including Adidas, Apple, and Banana Republic. And finally, don’t shy away from difficult conversations. Confronting our own biases and practicing self-reflection is how we grow. So let’s grow together, this month and always.
Written by: Jiwon Yun, Homeworks Intern