As Pride Month began one year ago we were looking ahead to joyous celebrations. Then on June 12, 2016 the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was targeted for a vicious hate crime resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“Pride Months will always be changed; we must never forget the 49 innocent lives, overwhelmingly Latinx, LGBTQ young people, taken away from us and from their friends and families. We encourage everyone to take time this month, at a community event or in your heart, to contemplate the lives we lost,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s LGBTQ civil rights organization.
“At Equality Illinois, we were even more determined to honor them with action by successfully advancing a pro-LGBTQ agenda in Springfield and spreading our message of LGBTQ civil rights to every corner of Illinois. On the national level, we are working with our congressional delegation against the challenges from an administration that seems determined to ignore us at best, and force us back into the closet, at worst. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!” Johnson said.
“So, it is important to be visible during Pride 2017, to celebrate, yes, and to commemorate and to challenge the status quo. Because when we are visible, we are powerful.”