The Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science, and Practice (MCH CoE) is committed to health justice for LGBTQIA communities. Everyone deserves equitable access and freedom from discrimination when seeking reproductive, family planning, and parenting resources.
The gay rights movement was born out of the revolutionary acts of resistance in June of 1969 when New York police raided a local safe space for LGBTQIA community members, the Stonewall Inn. Multiple employees and patrons were arrested and hurt by the unnecessary, brutal show of police violence. This 1969 movement was titled “the Stonewall Riots,” or “the Stonewall Uprising.” A year later in 1970, community members organized a march in commemoration of the ‘69 riots, marching in solidarity on Christopher Street – establishing the first gay pride parade in US history.
Over 50 years after Stonewall, communities throughout the country continue to honor June and July as Pride with parades, activities, festivals, and social and activist gatherings. This year, Pride has had to adapt to the realities of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic; leading to an adjustment to more solitary or virtual celebrations rather than in-person events. We also know that COVID-19 exacerbates existing inequities, with demonstrable effects on quarantined queer teens, and additional strains on accessing routine and emerging health care for LGBT populations.
Additionally, 2020 has led to the US reckoning with the national horrors of brutal police killings of Black Americans. This has spurred a call from Black, people of color, and white allies in the LGBTQIA community to center 2020 Pride on dismantling racism and ending white supremacy. For the LGBTQIA community, the history of grappling with police brutality and oppression, health injustice, and issues centered on racism have always been intrinsically tied. For 2020 Pride, there is strong emphasis and call for achieving justice for the deaths of Black Trans individuals.
The MCH CoE celebrates and honors the past and present movements brought forth by Pride. We pledge to examine our work and how we can promote health for LGBTQIA children, adolescents, adults in this period of isolation from COVID-19, as well as addressing the systematic dismantling of white supremacy and racism in academia.