As Pride Month draws to a close, we celebrate how far the LGBTQ community has come, but we can’t forget that the struggle continues. We still face violence. We still face discrimination in housing and employment. Issues from immigration to reproductive rights affect members of our community in ways that are seldom addressed in public discourse. Anti-queer bigots still try to throw hateful laws and policies in our way.
One day we will overcome all of this and know true equality. As surely as storms give rise to rainbows, we will stand proud and free.
If there’s something on the horizon in your area that you’d like to see featured in the MTV News Social Justice Forecast, email us at email@example.com.
All Month Long
Everywhere: Tell the FDA to lift the ban on queer men giving blood.
Men who have sex with men are still banned from giving blood if they have been sexually active in the past year. And since recognizing a person’s self-reported gender is a “non-binding recommendation,” this ban can also be used against trans folks who don’t even identify as male.
This FDA policy is especially awful in light of the shooting in Orlando, when many in the LGBTQ community wanted to donate blood but were unable to do so. We should be able to give of ourselves in times of need. That’s why some elected officials (like Elizabeth Warren) and organizations (like the Equality Federation) are pushing for a repeal of the FDA’s ban.
You can help out by signing the petition from the Equality Federation and urging your representatives to join the call to lift the ban entirely. No other group is barred from blood donation because of their gender or sexuality, and our hospitals need those donations to help save lives. We shouldn’t have to fight this hard for the right to help people in need.
We’ve got rainbows singing in the sky over Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a rally and concert standing up for LGBTQ rights. Atlanta, Georgia, has some black sunshine illuminating a lesser-known part of our history. Some bolts of trans pride are expected in Santa Ana, California.
Sunday, June 26
Winston-Salem, NC: Dance, sing, and fight for equality at Stand Against HB2–North Carolina Musicians United for EqualityNC.
101 W 5th St
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Folks in North Carolina are tired of living under the infamous HB2, a law primarily aimed at restricting the rights of transgender and queer North Carolinians. To support the work being done to repeal the law, a concert is being held on Sunday, June 26. All ticket sales benefit the LGBTQ rights organization Equality North Carolina as well as Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer, a group that hosts summer camps for queer youth. It will be a day filled with performances from local musicians, good food, chances to get involved with the cause, and a few words from local activists. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door; kids under 12 get in free. Get out there and party with a purpose!
Monday, June 27
Atlanta, GA: Learn how the club scene saved lives and souls at Sacred Ministry: The Black Gay DJ During The AIDS Crisis.
7:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
1530 DeKalb Ave NE, Ste A,
Atlanta, GA 30307
It cannot be overstated how important bars have been for the queer community, especially in the decades when there were no other spaces that were for us and by us. The Counter Narrative Project, as part of their mission to strengthen the black gay male community, is hosting a discussion about black gay DJs from the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Learn how their work redefined music and helped black queer men find hope and community in a time of fear and loss. The event is free, but please RSVP.
Thursday, June 30
Los Angeles, CA: Join other LGBTQ Latinas in building community and power at ELLA: Social and Empowerment Group For Latinas.
7:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
553 S Clarence St
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Southern California's Learning Curve is asking queer Latinas in the area to come together in a social setting, meet each other, and discuss the future of their communities. There will be trained volunteers to help organize the initial and subsequent meetings as this group evolves toward its next steps. This space is explicitly for LGBTQ Latinas only. Reservations and more information are available in Spanish and English at the event page.
Saturday, July 2
Santa Ana, CA: Celebrate Trans Pride and connect with useful resources at Trans*Pride: Trans*4ming Orange County.
305 E 4th St, Ste 201
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Trans*itions Health and Wellness and the LGBT Center of Orange County are hosting a daylong conference for the transgender community. There will be workshops on employment, immigration, and a variety of resources for trans folks. Their special guest is author Jessica Herthel. The conference is free, but be sure to register ASAP.
Friday, August 12–Saturday, August 15
McAllen, TX: Register and plan to attend the Aquí Estamos conference.
STC Cooper Center
3200 Pecan Blvd
McAllen, TX 78501
2016 is the second year of this conference for queer people of color in South Texas. The conference boasts some amazing keynote speakers with Isa Noyola, Director of Programs at the Transgender Law Center; Joaquin Carcaño, a lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against North Carolina’s HB2; and Adrian Castellanos, HIV activist and blogger at AdrianPlus. In addition to all of the workshops, there will also be programming available for children whose parents and guardians are attending the conference. The registration deadline is June 30, so get registered for free as soon as you can!
It’s important for us to celebrate, whether it’s pride or even the smallest of victories. It’s equally important that we remember the work still ahead of us. Regardless, whether it’s bringing out the sun or calling down a storm, we need you!