Finding Pride and Joy in 2021

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Amid such a difficult time, the LGBTQ community has so much to celebrate and to grieve. As the political winds shifted in January, we were jubilant as the new Administration took immediate actions to liberate the LGBTQ community from recent years of scapegoating and hate: signing executive orders prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and re-enabling transgender Americans to serve in the military.

At the same time, states in over half of the country have introduced bills that would ban transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity, along with making it illegal to provide healthcare to transgender people. In some states these bills have already become law. Furthermore, 2021 has already seen the murders of at least 28 transgender people, most of whom are Black and Latinx transgender women.

These tragedies are not disconnected, for we know that violent legislation breeds violent acts. The work of Welcome in Unitarian Universalism is still very relevant.

Due to social distancing, many festivals, parades, and marches have been canceled throughout the month of June. It’s so important for LGBTQ folks to have affirming spaces to be together. But Adrian Ballou, the UUA’s LGBTQ and Gender Justice Fellow, instructs us to make our own parties happen saying, “This year, amidst blessings — as well as heartbreak, loss, and other hardships — I’ve found ways to make my own party happen. I send memes and snippets of silly voice note songs to chosen family members. We all can use a bit more connection and support right now. Sending lots of love, care, and joy for the next few weeks — and for the new year.”

May your Pride season be a time of joy, blessing, and abundance as you make your own parties happen in whatever way makes you feel safe, seen, and held.