Each June the LGBTQIA** community celebrates Pride Month, which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots that sparked the start of the modern movement for gay and transgender rights and celebrates LGBTQIA lives, families, and communities. At UCAR, we support, welcome, and recognize our LGBTQIA staff, visitors, and students, along with your families, and we thank you for your service to the organization.
As a member of the LGBTQIA community, I want to personally wish you a very happy Pride and let you know that I will be celebrating our vibrant, courageous, and resilient community along with you. You are part of what makes UCAR and NCAR so successful, and the traits that our community brings, including resilience, empathy, and courage, are critical in creating a strong, innovative, caring, and inclusive workplace.
Alongside the celebrations, I ask that we also remember the work still to be done, particularly in support of our transgender friends and colleagues. While we have made major progress in terms of visibility, rights, and recognition of our relationships and our families, there are still significant barriers standing between us and full inclusion in our society. We should never forget that the Stonewall riots were led by transgender women of colour. For decades they have stood by us and fought for our rights. It’s crucial that we stand next to them as they fight for theirs.
To all LGBTQIA allies at NCAR|UCAR, I want to thank you for your support and ask you to be vocal about it, particularly when working with visitors and students who may not know the culture here and who may not feel safe coming out.
In the next year, we are planning to launch a Safe Zone program that will allow you to show your support with a door sticker that identifies you as an ally and a safe space. We encourage you all to take the Safe Zone training when it is launched and to help create safe and validating spaces within our organization. For more resources about the LGBTQIA community, and a link to the UCAR LGBTQ listserv, visit our website here.
Kristen and I wish you all a happy and safe Pride season, and remind everyone that our doors are always open to anyone, for anything related to diversity and inclusion.
Carolyn (& Kristen)
** We use LGBTQIA here to refer to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, agender, and/or non-binary folks, and anyone else who identifies as part of the romantic, sexual, and gender identity minority umbrella. We also welcome and support anyone questioning their romantic, sexual, and/or gender identity.
Resources for Pride Month
Overview of LGBTQIA rights, statistics, and political status: Human Rights Campaign: http://www.hrc.org/
Glossary of terms: http://www.hrc.org/resources/glossary-of-terms
Local resources and support through Out Boulder County: http://outboulder.org/
How to respond if someone comes out to you: https://lgbtq.unc.edu/programs-services/safe-zone/if-someone-comes-out-you
Guide for people questioning their sexual orientation: http://www.yoursexualorientation.info/Home_Page.php
Guide for people questioning their gender identity: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/03/i-think-i-might-be-trans/
Reconciling religion and support for the LGBTQIA community:
Here's a talk given by John Corvino, who breaks down a lot of the discussion around sexual orientation, and the reasons that many people have problems with it. He takes a philosophical look at these reasons, including verses in the Bible that are interpreted to condemn homosexuality. Watch video here.
Here's also a lovely set of essays by a Christian minister and ethicist named David Gushee, who published this series in Baptist News and later wrote a book based on these essays called "Changing Our Mind." Here's a link to the final essay in the 16-part series - if you scroll down to the bottom of the first link, you'll see the entire series linked, and more easily navigated than if I linked to part 1. Also linked is his later concluding piece - part 17.