By Bryan Boggiano
The City of Coral Springs is telling its residents, business owners, employees, and commuters that they stand with them, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The city commission issued a proclamation declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Plus Pride Month at their Wednesday, June 1 meeting, recognizing the progress that LGBTQ+ people have made toward equality and the continued fight for equality and respect.
Pride Month marks the beginning of the modern-day LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States, which started on June 28, 1969, when community members fought back against police raids at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village New York.
Commissioner Nancy Metayer said that members of the LGBTQ+ are entitled to their dignity, equal rights, and self-affirmation, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
She said that by joining other municipalities across the country committed to inclusivity, the city hopes to raise attention to the issues that LGBTQ+ people face.
Metayer and Deputy City Manager Dale Pazdra presented the proclamation to members of Transinclusive Group, a Wilton Manors-based organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ equality and provides support to community members.
According to the Human Rights Campaign‘s 2021 report, even though marriage equality is recognized in 50 states, there remains to be nationwide protections against conversion therapy and in housing, employment, hate crime laws, public accommodations, and school anti-bullying laws, among other issues.
Nic Zantop, deputy director, said that while a lot has changed since the Stonewall riots, a lot of work remains to be done.
“The LGBT community suffers violence and discrimination at staggering rates, and so much of this violence impacts our siblings of color,” they said.
Zantop said that Transinclusive fights back against legislation that they say targets LGBT people, including Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act, bans on transgender girls competing in girls’ sports, and restrictions on healthcare for transgender people.
They concluded by inviting community members to advocate with Transinclusive and other organizations in South Florida doing similar work.
Adriana Tender, the program coordinator, applauded the city for presenting Transinclusive with the proclamation and invited city officials to volunteer with the group at their events.
Executive Director Tatiana Williams commended the city for recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month and for issuing the proclamation to the group while applauding the efforts of Zantop, Tender, and other Transinclusive members.
“It takes a village to do this work, and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this work and run this organization,” she said.
Later in the meeting, Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons highlighted the need for accepting people, saying that more than likely, everybody has somebody in their family or whom they know who is LGBTQ+.
Simmons said that LGBTQ+ people having somebody in their lives who accepts them could make the difference between life and death, alluding to elevated suicide rates within the community.
“If you truly love that person, you will…love the person for who they are because chances are, they need you,” he said.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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