Monday, March 20, 2023

[OPINION] The Work That Remains

There’s no doubt that we have much to celebrate this Pride season.

But when the festival is done, it’s imperative that we turn our attention back to the threats that still face our community.

The recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cake Shop is only the first in a string of other LGBTQ cases still before the courts, while the resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy does not bode well for continued progress forward with the Court. We must continue to vocally oppose any type of legislated hate on every level.

Our African American, Latinx, youth, and transgender communities are under constant threat, yet we rarely hear their voices. Those of us with voices need to work harder to give them avenues to speak their truths.

The recent sale to the City of Norfolk and pending closing of the Hershee Bar indicate that we must work harder to protect LGBTQ safe spaces and small businesses.

In Hampton Roads, none of our cities save two have Human Rights Commissions. They are guardians against discrimination in all its forms. We must work with our city leaders to create them and pass accompanying antidiscrimination laws.

Finally, relationships between our local LGBTQ organizations remain divided and contentious, continuing a longstanding habit of our community devouring itself from within. If we are to truly thrive in Hampton Roads, we must find our commonalities and put our voices together.

Yes, go celebrate. But on the day after, pick up the flag and carry it forward as your totem for the work that remains.

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