Despite the inane, racist utterances of the president of the United States, there is no place in this country for stigmas and discrimination. It serves no purpose other than to divide us, and in doing so avoid the responsibility of helping. And yet we refuse to hold our leaders accountable and we allow ourselves to accept this as the status quo. Unfortunately it’s far easier to discriminate and stigmatize than to take responsibility and help. When we label people, then discriminate against them, we say to our fellow human beings “you are not worthy” and if we think they are unworthy, we feel no responsibility to help.
No one deserves to be labeled and then based on that label, to be cast aside as unworthy. Yet we, as a Community, let that happen to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers who are suffering from homelessness and addiction. We marginalize them and discriminate against them. We declare them unworthy of our help and support. And yet many of these members of our community – our friends, our coworkers, our family members – find themselves in this situation by the very actions, or inaction, of all of us. We have a responsibility to help the most vulnerable members of our community.
Fifty years ago, brave members of the LGBTQ Community, heroes truly, stood up for their rights and ours at Stonewall. They risked their lives so that today, we enjoy the fundamental rights enjoyed by all citizens. They stood for all of us, not just those of us who are sober and well-housed, but all of us. That we would treat these vulnerable members of our own Community this way and cast them as unworthy would be abhorrent to those heroes of fifty years ago.
At Restoring Pride, we believe that stigmas and discrimination have no place in our Community or in our country. We believe everyone has value and worth and everyone deserves as many chances as it takes to begin anew. Join us in our mission to end homelessness in our Community and put a stop to discrimination and stigmatization.