The last few weeks have been particularly painful during a time when so many are already struggling. DOJ Pride Board member Lindsay Dunn prepared the following statement on behalf of the entire Board on the need for reflection, solidarity, and action right now:
This June, we celebrate Pride. We also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples could not be deprived of the fundamental right to marry. This remains, even in the shadow of the global pandemic of COVID-19, a time to honor our history. Obergefell was the result of the activism, advocacy, and sacrifices of countless heroes in the LGBTQIA+ community. But we cannot truly rejoice in the successes of the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ people in this country without acknowledging the importance of its most public genesis—the Stonewall Uprising. And we cannot accurately discuss Stonewall, and what followed, without acknowledging the bravery and contributions of Black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson. From there, we must go back even further to recall the Civil Rights Movement, and the extraordinary contributions of those like Bayard Rustin, architect of the March on Washington. Yet, still, for so many LGBTQIA+ people who look like Marsha and Bayard, the fight in 2020 is not about getting to marry. The fight is about getting to live.
This Pride Month, we are unable to be with one another in person, but we are still a community. Let us use this time, together, to honor the many, many people whose efforts got us to this place. Let’s remember their bravery and their sacrifices. Let’s celebrate in the ways we can. But let’s also take this challenging time to continue to dream and to be brave. Let’s protect the most vulnerable among us. Let’s stand up to homophobia, transphobia, and racism, and the violence they beget—including when that violence is in the form of police brutality. And let’s work to realize a world in which every member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and the broader communities of which we are a part, has not only the right, but the opportunity, to enjoy the freedoms for which we have long fought.
In short, let’s make this a month to be proud of.