55 Years After Stonewall, the Struggle Continues

28 Jun, 24

Dear Friends,

Happy Pride Month! This is a time to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community and reaffirm our commitment to fighting for a community where everyone can live openly and authentically without discrimination, harassment, or violence.

This June, we celebrate the strides we’ve made – including Harris County's first LGBTQIA+ Commission, which provides recommendations to improve economic, social, health, and safety outcomes for the LGBTQIA+ community. We were proud to take this important step to ensure equity and inclusion for all Harris County residents.

Harris County also officially designated our Harris County Public Library (HCPL) system as a "book sanctuary." This declaration signifies our unwavering dedication to providing a safe and inclusive space where every voice is heard, every story is valued, and every idea is respected – this includes spaces where LGBTQIA+ stories can be heard and shared.

While we celebrate our strides, we are also renewed with the spirit of Pride to fight back against state extremists who are hell-bent on rolling back the hard-fought rights and freedoms of our LGBTQIA+ community.

In our state’s last legislative session, instead of passing bills to address societal barriers to equality, Texas passed laws that prevent doctors from providing life-saving medical care to transgender youth, limit the personal health decisions of LGBTQIA+ adults, bar transgender athletes’ participation in sports, and endanger trans and gender-nonconforming performers.

These laws are cruel, and the rhetoric that was used to pass them is dehumanizing. Their direct impact threatens the health, safety, and well-being of vulnerable children. They deny trans and gender-nonconforming people equal participation in society and open the door to more sex-based discrimination. And they bring radical speech to the forefront and foster hate-fueled violence.

We will not stand idly by while right-wing extremists try to legislate LGBTQIA+ people out of public life. On the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this Pride Month reminds us to protest and fight for equality for all. As we reflect on the progress we've made, we are inspired by the courage and resilience of those who came before us, and we are motivated by the pressing need to continue their legacy.


Rodney Ellis