Albert H. Fulcher | Editor
In 36 states, there are no laws that protect the LGBT community from discrimination. Both Georgia and Oklahoma passed bills this year that prevent sex couples from adopting or fostering children. President Trump and his administration are continually attacking our transgender community who serve in the armed forces, despite the fact that the military leaders of all five branches openly believe that transgender service members have, and should have, the ability to serve. Trump is also already notorious for appointing people into high offices who have openly anti-LBGT agendas. He annulled federal funding protecting transgender student rights and transgender employment, and he fired all the members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
Iowa is seeking to weaken its own Civil Rights Act. Other states across the country are finding ways not to comply with restroom protections for transgender students. Religious freedom bills that allow for LGBT discrimination are now seen favorably in many states, giving religious preference over human rights. The future of the Supreme Court now lies in the hands of far-right Republicans, a decision that will last for decades. And this list continues to grow…
Here in California, we have it comparatively easier than anywhere else in the United States. But that does not mean we cannot, or will not, be affected by the current trends. There is evidence that California is becoming a divided state. This is very apparent when you look at the political spectrum in San Diego County. It is time for us to be more vigilant than ever in protecting our rights and creating an open pathway for our LGBT youth.
This is why I applaud San Diego LGBT Pride for this year’s theme, “Persist with Pride.” In this time of uncertainty, it is imperative that we stand united — not only for ourselves, but for our allies, as well as for our underserved communities. We have to stand for the refugees, immigrants, black lives, minorities, women’s rights, and our children, neighbors, friends and strangers being slaughtered due to gun violence. All of these issues fall under the umbrella of the rainbow flag that we fly proudly in various designs, which symbolizes our unity and our freedom to live our lives without persecution. This includes all of us — whether we are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual, heterosexual, ally, non-binary, and all of the pronouns that stand within our diverse community.
We need to strip away the “zero-tolerance” approach that is spreading across the nation against us. We have to take a zero-tolerance stance against bigotry, hate, intolerance, and anything that detours our path to equality and freedom for all. Most importantly, we need to be united as one because apathy will gain us nothing. Instead, it could make us lose everything that we and those before us have fought so hard to gain. More than ever, we need to be seen, recognized and heard. We have to stand together and be visible to be viable.
This year, we need to carry the notion of persistence with pride in our pockets every single day — not just during Pride week. In line with this year’s theme, not only are we observing Pride, but we are also celebrating the people, organizations, businesses and places that persist with pride every day in everything that they do.
This is still a time to rejoice and celebrate our individual selves under our many colors of diversity. But it is also the time to take a firm stand to preserve our lives, protect our independence, and ensure the freedom of all of us who believe that our diversity is stronger than our adversaries.