June is PRIDE Month and there is so much to celebrate! In Chicago, there is the Chicago Pride Fest on June 18 and 19, Pride in the Park in Grand Park on June 25, and the Chicago Pride Parade on June 26 (chicagopride). The Juniper Center has been out supporting the community, at the Maine West High School Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Community PRIDE Celebration on June 4, and we invite you to stop by our booth at the North West Pride Fest presented by the Kenneth Young Center in Schaumburg on June 11.
LGBTQ Rights Back in the News
In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) adopted its current Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) that specifically included “coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions, as they…” (EEOC.gov Fact Sheet) The US Supreme Court explicitly extended Title VII coverage to gay and transgender employees in 2020. (nationallawreview).
However, “people who had been feeling settled about the fact that Title VII had come to include protections for LGBTQ folks may be experiencing anxiety these days,” says Dr. Margo Jacquot, Founder and Chief Care Officer at The Juniper Center. According to one Fox News affiliate, more bills targeted at transgender people have been written in 2022 than any year on record. (Fox8) “The stress level has started going up for a log of folks again and for all of us,” says Margo, with new bills limiting access to gender-affirming care, renewed discussions around bathrooms, or restrictions on teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Kindness Starts at Home
“What can you do?” asks Margo. Start locally, she advises. “It’s about making sure we continue to be good to each other, to support each other, to allow people to be themselves and to talk about what’s happening in their lives. For family members, people in your community, at your work or place of worship, verbalize your support. Let people know that you see them.”
June is Pride Month.
During Pride Month and year-round, you can show people that you support them. It could be as simple as commenting or liking a post on social media or attending one of the many Pride Month events in your area (see above or search “Pride Events Near Me” for your area). “When I see someone wearing a pride shirt or a rainbow I always comment, I like that. It just says I see you,” says Margo. For people you care about, “tell them you love them no matter what.”
With so much going on in the world we may feel like there’s nothing we can do. “Show people that you support them just by doing something small,” Margo adds. “ If you have time to do more, great, but let people know you are there.”
Even the tiniest of stones can have a far and wide-reaching ripple.