On May 28th, President Barack Obama formally proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
That this is being stated so boldly and clearly by an American president speaks volumes, both in a good way and some not so good. Homosexuality is not new, and it is very depressing that it has taken this long for an official statement attesting to the horrible trials and tribulations those that are LGBT to come out. That said, at least it’s being done now.
LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors.
This is another point that I think is missed by many, many people. I mean, it’s easy to think of homosexuals as “those people”, but it’s quite another when you find out that you know some personally, as we all do. I have friends, relatives, colleagues, and personal heroes that identify as LGBT. It still shocks me, though, when people I know and respect feel differently about a person upon finding out that their sexual orientation is not what they’d assumed it to be. “What do mean, he’s gay? Ewwwww!” It’s kind of funny, I guess, but I have a tendency to judge people for how they judge the LGBT. I suppose that’s a proclamation for another day, though.
Obama goes on to specifically address ways that his administration has focused on bringing this issue into the forefront, of facing it head on, of not hiding behind milquetoast policies like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (which, to be fair, was a fairly bold political move for the time and place).