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Diversity Equality Inclusion - June 27, 2023

“…With liberty and justice for all.”  

Celebrating Pride Month

by Aaron Zajdel

Many are familiar with the United States Pledge of Allegiance. It concludes with the powerful and challenging phrase, “with liberty and justice for all.” Although seemingly all-encompassing and equitable in expression, many groups have found this sentiment difficult to attain in reality.

The LGBTQIA+ community is one of the many groups that has faced—and continues to face—historical, social and political challenges. LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and, as the “+,” any other person who does not identify as heterosexual and/or cisgender. In the United States, Pride Month is celebrated annually in June in recognition and celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community as a unique, resilient, diverse and accepting community.

A Few Historical Milestones

In 1969, a series of days-long clashes between patrons of a gay club and law enforcement known as the Stonewall Riots occurred in New York City. Many consider the Stonewall Riots to be a catalyst and major step for gay rights.

In 1999, President Bill Clinton officially proclaimed the month of June as Pride Month in the United States. Since then, pride celebrations have expanded, grown and evolved to reflect the LGBTQIA+ community more fully and raise awareness around social and political issues that the community continues to face.

A Helpful Resource

The Human Rights Campaign published a report entitled Being an LGBTQ+ Ally in October 2022 that includes explanations of terms and an historical synopsis of important milestones for the community. It also features conversation guides and educational information to help people more fully understand and interact thoughtfully with members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

A Spotlight: Andrew Levitt a.k.a. “Nina West”

Recently, some political groups have advocated for legislation that would ban or restrict the performance of drag in America. Although drag is a varied and expansive art form, Nina West is one drag queen known for encompassing the spirit of inclusion, support, solidarity and freedom that all in the LGBTQIA+ community desire. Nina has advocated and fundraised for many LGBTQIA+ causes, including HIV/AIDS testing, trans rights and marriage equality. She also founded the Nina West Fund at The Columbus Foundation, raising millions of dollars to support a variety of charities.

Acknowledging History and the Need for Change

In an ever-changing world, Pride Month is a time to remember LGTBQIA+ history, celebrate the social and political progress we have made and acknowledge the need for further positive change. I am proud not only to be a member of this incredible community, but also to be part of Goodwin Living, an organization that supports, honors and uplifts the lives of all older adults and those who care for them, including those in my community.

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Goodwin Living DEI Committee: Statement of Purpose: Educate, Embrace and Empower team members, residents, members* and all served by Goodwin Living to support Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.

Goodwin Living DEI Committee Desired Outcome: The Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee (DEI) will seek open and honest communication and collaboration that will inform and celebrate the age, culture, ethnicity and sexual orientation of team members, residents, members* and all served by Goodwin Living without bias.

Questions or comments? Please contact us DEI@GoodwinLiving.org.
*Members include Priority Club members and Goodwin Living at Home members.

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