On June 28, 1969, LGBTQ+ Pride Month began as an uprising primarily led by Black and Brown transgender and gender-variant champions who acted after law enforcement raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City. A culmination of decades of discrimination and unjust treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, including preceding incidents at Compton’s Cafeteria and Black Cat Tavern in California, the Stonewall Uprising is the moment often cited as the major shift forward for LGBTQ+ rights.
Since Stonewall, there have been significant milestones in the quest for civil rights at large and for LGBTQ+ people specifically, including the U.S. Supreme Court decisions to ratify marriage equality on June 26, 2013, and that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ+ employees from workplace discrimination on June 15, 2020. Still, several decades after the Stonewall Uprising, LGBTQ+ communities, Black, Brown, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Native American, Asian and historically excluded people across the nation are still targeted by heterosexism, racism, transphobia and xenophobia to name a few.
WSU Vancouver recognizes and celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Below are strategies, opportunities and resources for students, staff, faculty, and external partners to build a community of equity, belonging and love throughout this Pride month and beyond.
- Advocate justice for and send healing energy to loved ones of dearly departed fellow human beings whose names are known and unknown, including our transgender and gender-variant siblings.
- Register for BaCE workshops and activate your advocacy for change after every BaCE session. BaCE provides tools to know your mindset toward differences, build equity infrastructure and disrupt systemic inequities. It is up to you to use these tools to impact university processes, practices, policies and people.
- If you are a student, explore developing a new student organization that centers LGBTQ+ lived experiences from all paths of life. If you are a staff or faculty member, create an employee resource group for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff.
- Engage with a campus committee with a mission to move equity efforts forward, such as Accessibility Council; Collective for Social and Environmental Justice; Council on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Equity of Student Outcomes Council; Student Success Council; Enrollment Management Council or the BaCE Committee.
- Make a gift to the LGBTQ+ Empowerment Scholarship at WSU Vancouver. Access the Equity and Justice Resources page. Use resources from this page to expand your equity lens and capacity as a change agent. Submit messages of empowerment to the Virtual Gallery of Affirmations for student, faculty, staff and external community consumption.
Throughout Pride month and every day, WSU Vancouver is devoted to advancing equity-mindedness, cultural responsiveness, and inclusive excellence such that all LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty, external partners and prospective VanCougs feel a deep sense of welcome, safety, support, agency, pride and opportunity to thrive.