Activist community

New organization seeks to give a voice to the LGBTQ+ community | Letters to the Editor

Pride has its roots in the kind of good trouble the late John Lewis suggested was sometimes necessary. One night in June 1969 – and the weeks that followed – LGBTQ+ activists (mostly transwomen 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 one night event and over the coming weeks members of the LGTBQ+ community were subjected to tear gas, homophobic and transphobic slurs and continued violence. The events of this 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 have taken a stand in support of truth and diversity in our libraries, rather than succumbing to hatred and derision.

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This year we face a new chapter in that narrative, with the relentless attacks by our governor and our elected Republican legislators against the LGBQT+ community, especially people of color and the trans community like we have not seen. since the Anita Bryant years.

Locally, a new group has arisen to demolish and destroy what we have worked so hard to build. Our community is united with our direct allies to once again confront bigotry.

We have many reasons to celebrate this year, including the formation of the Natural Coast Region LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. This new organization grew out of 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 the voices of the LGBTQ+ community are heard in all spaces.

Pride at its very essence celebrates a community that refuses to be silenced and trampled on in the face of adversity. We celebrate those who are fully out and proud and those who have to stay in the closet and all those who are still on the way.

Happy Pride!

Nathan Sharp

Acting President

The Natural Coast Region LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus