Pride Month is always a time for reflection, as streets and newsfeeds flood with accounts of the achievements and battles waged in the fight for sexual and gender equality. This year is no different, and education, awareness, and resistance remain as important as ever. The LGBTQ community has yet to fully heal from the wounds inflicted by last year’s Pulse tragedy in Orlando, and with the current wave of oppressive and violent rhetoric engaged by politicians and religious figureheads, an air of unease permeates this year’s Pride celebrations.
Make no mistake – there is still plenty of singing, dancing, and binge drinking to do, but swelling political and social anxiety – as well as the corporate ambitions Pride has taken on – add another dimension to the way in which we perceive this celebration. From Philadelphia’s rainbow flag redesign, intended to highlight inclusivity for black and brown queer and trans individuals (and the ensuing controversy), to Chechnya’s gay concentration camps and the lack of outrage surrounding queer genocide, this year has been peppered with mild victories and sour blows. Moreover, the Trump administration is blatantly erasing our community, removing LGBTQ data from the White House home page and the national census, killing Obama-era protections for trans students, and advocating for “religious freedom” (i.e. discriminatory) legislation.
So lift each other up and be mindful of the battles unfolding as you do so. Times of strife can also be times of unity, so use this momentum to stand up for those who can’t, and make your voices heard. As we do every year, we’ve also curated a playlist to help channel the emotion of the times, and this Pride we are spotlighting some emerging queer and trans Latinx artists. Listen to these young musicians tell their stories, a reminder that we’re still here, visible, glam, weird, and fired up. Hopefully they will inspire you to rise and share your own story.