Dear Lakeside Pride Friends & Family,
The old saying goes that for every two steps forward, there’s one step back. Unfortunately, the LGBTQ community finds itself fighting against several leaps backward in the progress we’ve made in the United States.
We know this threat has always existed, but in the past several years, we’ve witnessed a substantial increase in statewide legislation nationwide that threatens each of us. The ACLU is currently tracking over 420 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation, with the majority focused on rolling back protections for Trans, Nonbinary, and Genderqueer persons. These hateful bills and adopted laws impact every part of daily life – healthcare, education, public accommodations, free speech and artistry, sports, and even marriage equality. Under the guise of “protecting children”, we know that these actions further harm the most vulnerable populations in our society – trans youth and trans adults.
These disgusting actions in state legislatures are only increasing in our sharply divided political environment. While Illinoisans, fortunately, see substantially fewer pieces of legislation being brought up for debate, we know our Trans, Nonbinary, and Genderqueer siblings across the country are experiencing rising hate toward their communities. We also stand with those who continue the beautiful, artistic tradition of Drag, whose freedom of speech and expression is being restricted nationwide.
Here at Lakeside Pride, we are committed to welcoming everyone, no matter their background or identity. We acknowledge the capacity of every person to be their authentic selves, make their own medical decisions, and we recognize their right to live with dignity. In our power, we will continue to strive for justice for all people within our community, limited by systemic forces.
To our Trans, Nonbinary, and Genderqueer family, know that your lives matter. You are loved, seen, and will be supported. We acknowledge the community’s lack of support in the past and now stand with you all more than ever. Your needs shall not be overlooked by the LGBTQ community anymore. We recognize the struggles you each face as politicians dictate your personal lives, and we stand by your side in this ongoing battle for justice.
And while Lakeside Pride is actively seeking ways to better serve our community, we also recognize there are already organizations whose mission allows them to act swiftly and more effectively in response to current events. We encourage you to support these excellent civil rights institutions working on the front lines of these legal battles and other organizations that meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the LGBTQ community: Lakeside Pride’s LGBTQ+ Resources.
In Service and Solidarity,
The Board of Directors,
Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles