Honoring Pride in 2021

By Teresa Jenkins, Chair, Charlotte County Democratic Executive Committee

Pride is a demand for full equality and a vibrant celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride is not limited to a single month; it is a year-round, years-long movement.

This Pride, there is much to celebrate. For the first time in four years the LGBTQ+ community has an ally in the White House. President Joe Biden has signed Executive Orders preventing and combating discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation and repealing Trump’s discriminatory ban on transgender military service. Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, is the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate.

At the same time, we have much to protest. Florida’s governor signed a bill barring transgender females from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes born as girls.

Just days from the five-year remembrance of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre, Gov. DeSantis vetoed $150,000 in state funds that would have provided counseling for survivors, despite a budget that has $9.5 billion in reserves. And he has eliminated $750,000 approved by the Legislature for the Orlando-based Zebra Coalition to create housing for homeless gay and transgender youth.

Across the country we have seen a spike in violence and discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people, particularly people of color. A lack of consistent non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people persist.

The Charlotte County Democratic Party honors everyone who takes a stand for civil rights and for everyone who freely and publicly lives the truth of their lives.