Pride has its roots in the kind of Good Trouble that the late John Lewis suggested was sometimes necessary. On a June night in 1969 — and the weeks following — LGBTQ+ activists (primarily trans women of color, like the iconic Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy) were at the forefront of these riots, demanding justice. The Stonewall rebellion was not a single-night event, and for the coming weeks, LGTBQ+ community members were subject to tear gas, homophobic and transphobic slurs, and ongoing violence. The events of that week marked the beginning of a new era in the fight for equality.
While our county commission may never issue a Pride Month proclamation, we celebrate that several members of the Board of County Commissioners took a stand to support truth and diversity in our libraries, rather than succumbing to hate and derision.
This year we face a new chapter in that narrative, with the relentless attacks by our Governor and our elected Republican Legislators on the LGBQT+ community, especially people of color and the trans community the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Antia Bryant years. Locally, a new group has arisen to tear down and destroy what we have worked so hard to to build. Our community stands united with our straight allies to face down bigotry once again.
We do have many reasons to celebrate this year, including the formation of the The LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Nature Coast Region. This new organization was born from the Citrus Equality Caucus and now represents the LGBTQ+ Community in Sumter, Hernando and Citrus Counties. Our new organization will work hand-in-hand with our local Democratic Executive Committees and other Democratic organizations to ensure that the voices of the LGBTQ+ community are heard in every space.
Pride at its very essence celebrates a community that refuses to be silent and down trodden in the face of adversity. We celebrate those who are fully out and proud and those who must remain in the closet and everyone who is still on their journey.
The LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus of the Nature Coast Region