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The Spirit of Pride is Alive & Well in Santa Monica!
June 23, 2020 12:30 PM
by Christopher J. Smith
Happy Pride 2020, Santa Monica!
Pride 2020 is a very different and more difficult Pride Month than we ever anticipated, but in so many ways it is also more meaningful. Seeing the cross sections of the LGBTQ+ community in support of Black lives, including the strong messaging that Black Trans Lives Matter and All Black Lives Matter, takes this Pride back to our roots – a riot against Police at the Stonewall Inn in New York started in part by Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman. 51 years later, whatever complacency that may have been in our community has vanished, and we are fully aware of what is at stake.
Photo Credit: The Advocate
This month, members of the region’s Queer community, Black community, and our mutual allies marched in solidarity, integrating the trans flag colors, the pride flag colors, and expanding the anthem to “All Black Lives Matter!” This solidarity is powerful and needed.
Photo Credit: LA Times
There is still much work to be done to protect the lives of our Black trans comrades. The American Medical Association has declared violence against transgendered people to be a nationwide epidemic, and according to the Human Rights Campaign, a majority of those victims are Black.
Last week, in an unexpected (and landmark) move, the US Supreme Court ruled that VII of the Civil Rights Act covers LGBTQ employees, for the first time affirming that the LGBTQ+ community is covered by federal workplace protections. Here in the City, we rolled out an anti-bullying program that includes protections for gay and transgender youth. And this year, instead of reading our Pride Proclamation at our virtual Council meeting on June 23, we will share a special reflecting on the realities faced by many within our community, and our deepening awareness and commitment to change. Stay tuned for that!
Pride 2020 has also been a reminder of how important community is. Many have turned to friends and family to support them and to give support. Some of us are high risk because of age or pre-existing conditions. Some of us, including City staff members, have helped some of our older LGBTQ+ neighbors so they can stay in quarantine. In the queer community, we often build our own “chosen families” to take care of each other, and this spirit is alive and well this Pride, and has been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
While some of the usual Pride celebrations are not happening, you can still catch some Pride in town. City Hall is lit in the Pride rainbow and take a peek at Main Library windows when you go by.
Here are some ways you can show your pride in the Queer community this month:
- Read the City’s Pride Proclamation, written by 2019 Annenberg Community Beach House Writer-in-Residence, Analisa Raya-Flores.
- Check out the Santa Monica Public Library’s Read with Pride Reading List - Adult
- Kids can check out Santa Monica Public Library’s Read with Pride Reading List - Youth & Kids
- Sign up for PRIDE at the BEACH (with Red Hen Press) Digital Pride event on July 1