In the United States, the month of June is traditionally celebrated as Pride Month, honoring and celebrating the history and culture of lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and queer (LGBTQ+) people in the U.S. This annual tradition grew out of violent and discriminatory policing of LGBTQ+ people in New York City during the 1960s, culminating in several days of violence between police and LGBTQ+ patrons of the Stonewall Inn on June 28th, 1969. The first Pride celebrations and parades took place on the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, and courageous LGBTQ+ people risked an array of serious legal repercussions for publicly celebrating their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Reflecting on and remembering the LGBTQ+ movement so far, we are excited to celebrate our accomplishments and continue fighting for LGBTQ+ health equity throughout New Mexico. Through a generous sponsorship from both PIRE and the Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest (BHRCS), BHRCS recently teamed up with the University of New Mexico’s Transdisciplinary Research, Equity and Engagement (TREE) Center to represent our health equity research at last year’s 2019 Albuquerque Pride celebration. (insert picture)
Employees, friends, and family gathered to decorate a float and walk in the parade, passing out flyers with information on our current research and findings. From working to ensure school environments are protecting LGBTQ+ youth from suicide, to detailing how supportive family and friends can contribute to LGBTQ+ well-being, we are spreading the word about how our research and advocacy is increasing the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ youth and adults across our state. In addition to taking part in Albuquerque Pride, BHRCS also participated in Santa Fe and Gallup Pride events in the following weeks of summer 2019. (insert picture)
While June 2020 Pride celebrations looked much different than last year, we at BHRCS are continuing to research innovative solutions and promote health equity for LGBTQ+ New Mexicans.
Here’s to 51 years since the Stonewall uprising and celebrating our LGBTQ+ ancestors—we would not be where we are today without their steadfast advocacy and resistance throughout the years.