“What Pride month is really about is saying that we’re proud of who we are, and that’s what’s really important right now is to accept people and let them be who they are.”– Rep. Brianna Titone
Rep. Titone’s words are an important reminder that Pride month is about celebrating our friends, neighbors, family and strangers exactly as they are. This Pride month – as the LGBTQIA+ community faces increased violence, persecution and bigotry – her words are also valuable instructions on how we as allies can show up for this community in June and beyond.
Denver’s first PrideFest occurred in 1974, and serves as an anchor for this community to express themselves freely. It also sheds light on the social and political changes that LGBTQIA+ activists have fought for – and continue to fight for –in cities and towns across the country. Amid increased tensions, it’s more important than ever to recognize the past, express pride in the present and take action to make the future better for our friends in the queer community.
As allies, we not only need to celebrate individuals for who they are, as Rep. Titone said, but also use our privilege, networks and community to protect individuals’ right to self expression.
There is a lot of great work happening to support the LGBTQIA+ community here in Colorado and across the country, but there is much more work to be done. We are proud to support and amplify those individuals and organizations who advocate for free expression year-round.
Some of the organizations you can support in Colorado are:
- Transgender Center of the Rockies
- One Colorado
- Queer Asterisk
- Center on Colfax
- The Gathering Place
- The Empowerment Program
- Envision : You
- Rainbow Youth Center
- Out Boulder County
- Inside Out Youth Services
The spirit of pride rests in the promise of a community who cares for each other. The team at Barefoot PR is here to support, learn from and let our LGBTQIA+ friends and neighbors be exactly who they are every single day.
As the Black, feminist, lesbian, writer and activist Audre Lorde once said, “Without community there is no liberation.” Barefoot PR is grateful to be in a community alongside our LGBTQIA+ friends.
Written by Marley Reifert, Senior Associate of CSR Storytelling and Strategy Associates Zoe Clemmons and Maura O’Leary