June has flown by.

We’ve celebrated a whole month of Pride; of community, of new parts of us stepping out into the light of their true selves, of wonderful, diverse individuals coming together in strength and unity to declare, “We are ready, anxious, and determined to participate fully in this Republic that is for and by ALL THE PEOPLE.

We are here, we matter, and we have a lot to contribute.

And now July is coming, and we turn our thoughts to independence, freedom, liberty, and patriotism.

Seems to me there is some strong synergy here – the struggle continues for freedom, liberty, and recognition as members of society with ALL the attendant rights and privileges of citizenship.

Pride is officially celebrated in June, but it lives in our hearts, our relationships, and our service to others every day of every year. It is who we are, as individuals and as a community. As June’s celebrations subside, now seems a good time to reflect on “what next?” How do we channel the energy, joy, and commitment that is Pride month, into the work that’s yet to be done? And there is still much work to be done.

I think it comes down to two main things:

  • Each of us as individuals must live into our own truth to the best of our ability.
  • We must learn to connect – not just communicate but CONNECT – with each other in relationships that are strong, authentic, and powerful.

Our willingness and skill at forging relationships (both individual and communal) that transcend our differences, I believe, will impact how long it takes us as a community to realize our goal of equal rights under the law. The various parts of our fantastic, kaleidoscopic community must come together in vulnerability and courage to form the bonds of oneness we need to move forward with power.

As we ourselves connect, we must be diligent to connect, not simply communicate, with those who now oppose us. I know, I know – connection seems impossible with those who see us as threatening to their way of life. But I also know from personal experience that connection is possible if we understand how essential it is to the accomplishment of our goals. And not only our goals, but to re-establishing all of us to our original state of connection. We are all one humanity who have for millennia been flailing to get back to that oneness.

The connection of which I speak is not ascent, agreement, acquiescence, or any other form of capitulation. By connection, I refer to the state of recognizing one another as viable fellow humans deserving of respect simply because we exist. If we can meet in that neutral space first, we will be able to address the issues at hand. The shrill, divisive tone so prevalent these past many years drowns out the real issues, shouts over the voices of the hurting and the disenfranchised, and keeps us in perpetual turmoil.

Someone must take the first steps toward connecting in the space between us and them. The more of us who are willing to make connecting beyond our differences a priority the more likely we are to reach the ultimate goal of one nation, with liberty and (true) justice for ALL.

What next, then? Let’s continue to celebrate our oneness and the uniqueness of the LGBTQ+ community within it, and let’s be willing to take a fresh look at humanity, finding ways to connect with each other.

– Keva (she/her), Senior SC Trainer

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