Delivered on June 8, 2021
June is Pride Month, and 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of LGBTQIA+ month in the City of Los Angeles and the 51st Anniversary of LA Pride.
Pride Month is a time to show support, listen and learn. It’s a time to take action and give back. It’s a time to celebrate love, for ourselves and for each other. It is also a time to acknowledge the sacrifices made to allow every person to live and love authentically and freely.
I’m fond of urging people to take note not only of the history that we learn but of the history that we live, along with that which we may be privileged to make. It’s through that lens that I sat transfixed, eight years ago listening to our 44th President deliver his second inaugural address. Toward the middle of his remarks he said, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—is that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall…”
Through Seneca Falls, and Selma and Stonewall—a simple alliteration—but one that for the first time saw an American President acknowledge the heroic and harrowing struggle for gay rights, squarely alongside and in the larger context of nation’s preeminent movements to expand civil rights.
I’m reminded today of its heroes sung and unsung—Marsha P. Johnson, Larry Kramer, Harvey Milk, Brenda Howard, Edie Windsor, who each in their own way confronted unspeakable hatred, bigotry, ignorance and even violence, both at the hands of the state and the hands of others. Even as we welcome the celebration of so many victories, so much remarkable progress in our understanding and acceptance of LGBTQAI+ rights, it is so important to be mindful of the work that got us here and the work that remains ahead.
On this day we proudly stand behind our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace that allows every employee to feel safe and protected. We take pride in our LGBTQIA+ employees and celebrate their service to our Department and City. In addition to my own reflections, I’d like to share that this year, LA Pride’s theme is Thrive with Pride, and that for the first time ever, LA Pride is partnering with local nonprofit, Big Sunday, on Pride Makes a Difference, a 30-day calendar of events focused on volunteering, community service and donation collections.
From June 20 -30, Pride Makes a Difference will be focusing on Protecting the Environment. We’re looking forward to helping promote these activities and making a difference through employee volunteerism and action. We’ll be sharing LA Pride’s calendar of activities on our social media channels and sharing information with our employees on how to take part in everything from community cleanups to donation collections.
Other LA Pride events coming up this month include:
• Thrive with Pride concert that will be livestreamed on the TikTok app, June 10
• LGBTQ+ Pride Night at Dodgers Stadium on June 11
• Thrive with Pride Celebration on ABC7 on June 12
• Universal Studios Hollywood LGBTQ+ Night on June 25
• LGBTQ+ Movie Night at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on June 26
Our Communications & Public Affairs staff will be sharing information with all of our employees about these events. We encourage everyone to show their love, support, and alliance with LGBTQIA+ community members throughout this pride month.
Through it all, let’s continue to lift each other up so we may all thrive with pride, and together build a stronger LA.