I’ve never particularly enjoyed Pride. My inbox fills with brand messages for all kinds of deeply odd rainbow products (queer cannabis, gay mutual funds, “bisexual fragrance”). Plus, I’m shy in a crowd. Parades overwhelm me.
Still, it’s hard to let June pass and not take stock of where we are. We celebrate Pride month to pay tribute to the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, when LGBTQ+ people resisted violent police crackdowns and gender policing in New York City. Today, most of us know and love an LGBTQ+ person. Our stories and contributions are everywhere.
For our first Pride at The 19th, you won’t see a lot of splashy Pride features — we do this work every day, and feel so privileged to do it.
We’ve celebrated Gloria Allen, a Black transgender senior working to give trans youth better futures in Chicago. We’ve rejoiced in queer chosen families across the nation as the pandemic forced many apart. We’ve traced the history of Transgender Day of Visibility back to its founder, Rachel Crandall-Crocker.
Even in 2021, few newsrooms employ transgender reporters full-time to cover LGBTQ+ issues. At The 19th, we know that though all of us must be equipped to cover every community, our newsrooms are better when they really reflect the world around them, when we are allowed to cover our communities with the dignity they deserve.
I’m so proud to be a transgender reporter covering LGBTQ+ people at a newsroom that is setting the tone for the nation. At a time when state legislatures are voting away the rights of trans kids and Black transgender women face extraordinary rates of violence, this work feels more urgent than ever. And I’m grateful to do it for a newsroom that draws a hard line on affirming the humanity of every person we cover.
Happy Pride 2021. Here’s to better stories for the years to come.