Marillac St. Vincent Celebrates Pride Month
Connecting Communities | July 2021
Pride Month is a special month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ history, representation, and impact. Every year communities around the world come together to celebrate Pride Month in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City through parades, events, stories, and art. On June 1, 2021, President Joe Biden declared June to be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month through a proclamation issued in support of the LGBTQ+ community. President Biden is the third President of the United States to do so.
The LGBTQ+ community in the US has made great progress since the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, which include historic Supreme Court rulings, policy changes, and workplace protections. Pride Month is an opportunity for celebration, but it is also a time for reflection.
This June we asked our staff "What does Pride mean to you?" and our staff came back with amazing, thoughtful, and powerful answers.
As staff member, Darnesha T. put it, “Pride is loving and accepting who you are.” Other staff members shared similar sentiments such as, “Pride means that I accept who I am and who others are, and I am Proud to know the differences in people.”
Many staff talked about allyship and how they use this time to reflect on what it means to support the LGBTQ+ community. As Digital Literacy Coordinator, Holly Y. said, “Pride means standing with people in the LGBTQ community, exulting in our shared humanity, and working together to fight for freedom from oppression.” Some staff shared personal stories of allyship including MSV’s COO, Maureen H., “Pride means that people are accepted and loved for who they are and who they love. I am so proud of my son Zachary who is not only smart, kind, loving and a wonderful part of the LGBTQ+ community. I could not ask for a better son, he has taught me so much about love and life and has made me a better person.”
Community Outreach Manager, Tramaine M., described Pride as, “Being able to stand before ANYONE, confident in who I am.” and others joined her in expressing similar sentiments. Staff member, Tamika E. echoed a similar thought with her own response; “Pride is accepting who you are, no matter what anyone else might think of you.”
For many, Pride Month is a special time. For staff member, Mandal N., it is “a time you get together and show who you really are”.
Director of Mission Integration, Francine S., explained exactly what Pride looks like in action. “Head held high with chin slightly uplifted, back straight with shoulders hunched upright, a stride that's a glide and a slight side to side movement of the hips, hands gently intertwined - all mingled with a genuinely delicious smile that says, ‘I am somebody, and what is important to me is what I think about me, not what you think about me.’”
At the end of the day, for many MSV staff members, Pride is about freedom. “Pride means that everyone is free to love whoever their heart desires” explained Genea G. And for Christine J. Pride is “having confidence, self respect, Being free to identified your sexual orientation”. Staff member, Tamika I., put it succinctly when she said, “It means to be free.”
We received many other definitions of Pride from our staff members, and you can read more below. We encourage you to use this time to reflect on what Pride means to you and we hope you celebrate Pride Month in meaningful, respectful ways.