Pride Celebration: Working to ensure equality and safety for the entire community

By:  Chris Handberg, Director of Programs and Research, Domestic Violence Network

For many, June has become a celebration for the LGBTQ+ community as we celebrate Pride nationwide. While the parades, picnics, and parties honor the history and culture of the queer community, it is important to remember that Pride events and gatherings were not always joyous occasions. At the beginning of the LGBTQ+ movement, people gathered for solidarity, they marched for equality; most of all, they envisioned a day where they could hold their partners hands and be celebrated for it.

While times have changed and political marches have turned into family-friendly parades, there is still a lot to fight for in the community. The LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination, members of the community are being targeted by statehouses across America, and we still have higher rates of domestic violence and sexual assault than other communities. These are challenges the community will rise and overcome through organization, dialogue, and advocacy. If the past several decades have shown us anything, it is that the LGBTQ+ community is strong, resilient, and will work together to ensure equality and safety for the entire community.

The Domestic Violence Network is dedicated to ensuring every individual is assisted in a safe and respected manner. We now have a Services Equality Endorsement which recognizes local service organizations that undergo sensitivity training as part of their staff professional development and incorporates policies and procedures that strategically incorporate the LGBTQ+ community into their outreach efforts and ensure these organizations are a place for everyone.

Written by Chris Handberg, DVN’s Director of Programs and Research