27 June 2020
This is a time of great unpredictability for many people. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic fall heavily on many lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people around the world.
It has made LGBTI people particularly vulnerable. In terms of access to inclusive health services; domestic violence and abuse, especially for those confined with people who do not accept their gender identity; and increased discrimination and hate speech blaming them for causing the pandemic, LGBTI people are suffering.
I view this as a hinge moment – an opportunity for collective reflection and potentially transformative change.
The COVID pandemic has magnified inequalities – making them visible, manifestly unacceptable and unsustainable.
In the United States and around the world, hundreds of thousands of people have been marching to say no to structural discrimination and violence and yes to equality for all.
Looking back at the Stonewall riots that were catalytic for LGBTI rights, and the reason we gather today, I cannot help but see parallels.
All movements against oppression and injustice converge in standing up for human rights, in solidarity with others. They join in bravely pushing back against systems that perpetrate hatred, violence, exclusion and discrimination.
This is the time to stand proud and tall. A time to raise our voices, in solidarity, for recognition, visibility, justice and the freedom to be who we are, to love whom we love, to live freely, fully and safely regardless of our race, gender, religion, visa status or disability.
Today is about pride – pride in ourselves, and in the strides we have made to come this far.
I am overjoyed to celebrate this important month with you. Happy Pride!
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