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Monthly Recognitions

June 2022: Celebrating LGBTQIA2S+ Pride Month!

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, when police raids and harassment were a common occurrence across the U.S. We lift the names of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Storme` DeLarverie, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy whose lifetime work in the LGBTQ+ community serve recognition and acknowledgement. These leaders were among the first organizers of the Stonewall Riots. It is stated that DeLarverie is attributed with throwing the first punch when police came to antagonize and intimidate.

The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States and promotes “equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) Americans. Memorials are also held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS and celebrations are hosted to share the successes and triumphs of these communities.

LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and other identities. The plus sign at the end of LGBTQIA+ can include members of other communities, including allies — people who support and rally the LGBTQIA+ cause, even though they don’t identify within the community itself.” Other identities included in the LGBTQIA+ are:

  • agender - refers to those who do not identify as any gender at all
  • demisexual - describes someone who requires an emotional bond to form a sexual attraction
  • genderfluid - describes one's gender identity as self-expression and not static
  • graysexual - refers to the “gray area” between asexuality and sexuality
  • non-binary/genderqueer - a term used for those who do not conform to binary gender identities
  • pansexual/omnisexual - a term for individuals with desire for all genders and sexes
  • polyamorous - a term for those open to multiple consensual romantic or sexual relationships at one time
  • sapiosexual - describes a person who is attracted to intelligence, regardless of a person’s gender identity
  • two-spirit - a term used by Native Americans to describe a third gender (sometimes included as 2S in the main acronym as LGBTQIA2S+)

Queer is defined as a term people often use to express a spectrum of identities and orientations that are counter to the mainstream, i.e. heterosexual. Many in the LGBTQIA+ communities have worked to reclaim this word as it encompasses a diverse range of identities and experiences, so, it may also be used interchangeably with LGBTQIA+. There are many terms that might identify someone and their sexuality, their identity, and their lives. Identity is considered the distinguishing characteristics or personality of an individual, though it can encompass so much more than what is perceived by society. There are many intersections of what may be considered someone’s true identity and many differences between sexual orientation; sex and the body; and gender in society.

  • Sexual orientation: Sexual orientation describes patterns of sexual, romantic, and emotional attraction, or lack thereof—and one's sense of identity based on those attractions. As those who are, or identify as, heterosexual adhere to conventional partnering of a man and a woman, whereas, those who are, or identify as, LGBTQIA2S+ are then othered due to their sexual preference(s).
  • Sex/Body: Sex is assigned at birth as either “male” or “female” based on the apparent genitals or chromosomal analysis. However, there are many people whose bodies fit neither category. According to experts, between .05% and 1.7% of the population is born with intersex traits – the upper estimate is similar to the number of red-haired people.
  • Gender: Social constructions of sex aligning with the characteristics of male and female norms, behaviors, and roles. It is how people present their gender in the world and how individuals, society, culture, and community perceive, interact with, and try to shape gender into the confines of the two classifications.

PRIDE Month is called such because, for decades, those who identify with this community have had to withstand homophobia in many situations, including but not limited to public spaces, workplaces, and family structures. Despite the hardships they have faced in the past and still face today, they have pride in who they are and bring vibrancy, diversity, and transformation. Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people have continued to gather together in June to march with Pride and demonstrate for equal rights. Washington State is home to around 342,000 LGBTQ citizens as of 2020 and that is just accounting those who have come out. Find ways to support and more information by clicking the links below.

Ways to support:

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Last Modified: 6/6/22, 2:56 PM

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