Diversity, Inclusion and Equity

Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June 10, 2021 |1:26 min read

White House issues proclamation

The words have profound meaning: “White House issues proclamation.” As someone who played a role in White House proclamations when I led a division at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I appreciate the soft power of the proclamation.

A proclamation does not make anyone do anything, but as persuasion, it can be a powerful force for good.

Last week’s White House Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month put the weight of the office behind recognition of LGBTQ+ pride and called for solidarity:

The uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969, sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our Nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all.  Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality. Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity. This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.

This updated “pride and progress” flag design honors Black and brown members of the LGBTQ+ community; incorporates blue and pink to represent transgender people; and takes the purple circle on yellow from the intersex flag.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also issued a proclamation, which includes, among other statements, the commitment to continue to advocate for statewide protections for all LGBTQ+ individuals to make our state a place where all people – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression – are treated with dignity and respect. At Gillings, we celebrate our LGBTQ+ students and colleagues and are committed to act as allies to protect their rights as members of our community and larger communities beyond the School.

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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.