To the editor:
Rights activists have fought and died for the LBTQ2+ community.
One morning at the end of June 1969, about 200 people were inside the Stonewall Inn when the New York Police Department decided to pay a visit.
They raided the Inn and people were arrested and threatened due to their sexual orientation.
It was on this day the LGBTQ2+ community decided enough was enough and fought back. Fires, riots, and protesters littered the streets for the next five days. These heroic people were the beginning of change and marked June as Pride Month.
Many people have lost hope for Pride Month this June due to the pandemic, but now it is more important than ever to show support. Many people in the LGBTQ2+ community are feeling isolated due to quarantine. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to express themselves or be supported at home.
Although Pride month will not look the same as usual it is still necessary to show our love and support.
It is vital to send a message to those around the world who are closeted, feeling isolated, or need validation that they are loved.
I challenge the Vernon community to show their support this Pride Month, whether it’s through window displays, clothing or online presence.
In 2018, executive director of Vancouver Pride Society, Andrea Arnot commented on the fact that hate crimes based on sexual orientation had gone up since 2017.
She said, “The fact that the number of hate crimes overall has shown a decrease and yet there was a rise in hate crimes against our community, indicates that we still have a lot of work to do around education and advocacy.”
Being an ally, regardless of your personal orientation, is a great way to protect people’s rights and raise awareness. After all LGBTQ2+ rights are human rights and we should refuse to let the years of fighting against oppression go to waste.