Earlier this month I received a card in the mail from the Human Rights Campaign. The image is of a beautiful rainbow heart, and right next to the heart is a thank you to me for being an HRC member for the past 21 years. What surprised me most was that it had been 21 years since a dear friend and I walked into the HRC store on Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., and I made my first donation. That store is no longer there, and my friend no longer lives in D.C., but I continue to contribute, to read their magazine, to walk past the HRC building on Rhode Island Avenue, and to support businesses who do more than flying a rainbow flag during the month of June.
My allyship to the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t stop today, June 30th, with the end of Pride month. I am dedicated all 365 days of the year. I believe in equal rights, equal access to healthcare, equal employment opportunities, and marriage equality. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic I have been part of a spiritual community for LGBTQ+ people and allies, Inspire Spiritual Community, which is based in Los Angeles. It has been wonderful to be able to join all-faith online services these past two+ years. When I was in California earlier this spring, I was finally able to meet some Inspire members at an event and attend their first in-person meeting since before the pandemic. This community resonates with me because they understand what it is like to feel like an outsider. Many of the members are Black and Brown. They have experienced hardships of intersectionality. Because of their own personal experiences of being “othered”, they go out of their way to make sure everyone feels a sense of belonging.
I am concerned about the future rights of the LGBTQ+ community. There are threats by at least one member of the Supreme Court to what we have known as legal rights. We can’t go back in time when we have made such strides towards equality. We must always look forward and do more, be better, and seek out ways to create equity rather than create divisive barriers. I stand with the LGBTQ+ community as an ally. I urge you to stand with me.