Source: ABCD

As Pride flags are raised and a month of celebration Pride continues locally and nationwide, I wanted to take this moment to celebrate in the diversity – and to recognize the ongoing struggles – of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQIA+) community that continue throughout our city, state, country and world. 

Even as the LGBTQIA+ community has made meaningful progress in recent years, from winning the right to marry to securing protection from various forms of discrimination, those rights are at serious risk as we experience an ugly backlash of hatred, violence and marginalization.  As discriminatory laws and policies codify this vitriol, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are in danger of losing access to rights, privileges, and services that many take for granted. The Human Rights Campaign has documented more than 400 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country, many targeting transgender youth.  Even in Massachusetts, where we are the first state to legalize same sex marriage and to elect a lesbian governor, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there were 11 active hate groups in 2022, two of them with overt anti-LGBTQIA+ missions.  

The Institute for Research on Poverty already reports that “(p)eople who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) have higher rates of poverty compared to cisgender (cis) heterosexual people, about 22% to 16% respectively.” Rates are higher among LGBTQIA+ people of color and other subgroups. 

There is still much work to be done.  

Every day at ABCD we deliver programs and services to help under-resourced and under-represented people and families avoid crisis and build better lives. A clear purpose drives every action: everyone deserves dignity and respect and everyone should have an unhindered path to opportunity and a fulfilling life.

It falls to those of us who believe in diversity, equity, and inclusion—in kindness, compassion, and decency—to challenge the threats and attacks on our family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

Each June, we are reminded of the sacrifices made during the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, and we participate in the traditions of parades and festivals, educational events and memorials honoring those we’ve lost to violence and HIV/AIDs.

As a Community Action Agency that centers equity in all its forms, ABCD commits to standing firm as an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community not just in June but every day of the year. Please join us.

In solidarity and celebration,

Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq.
President and CEO