Statement by Open Buffalo Youth Action:
“Even with it being 2021, it’s still important that we acknowledge pride month for everyone in our community who’s a part of LGBTQ+ and to stand in solidarity with them,” expressed by Youth Action Vice President Selena. “Since love will always win, it’s important to correct ignorance to allow everyone to be happy.” In a society and world where people try to divide us by social constructs and labels, we all need to stand together and support one another. As Selena mentioned, love triumphs over all else. It may be complicated for those who do not understand, but for the partners that are in love, it is easy and completing.
Pride month was created and celebrated to destigmatize a community and to stand in solidarity against all the negative individuals who terrorize others based on their differences. Myquan, President of Youth Action, mentioned, “Never be afraid to be who you are! Even if Society looks at you differently, love and be you for you!”
We are witnessing an era of not just acceptance but a sense of community regardless of difference. Though there are those individual outliers who promote their negativity as truth, they cannot and will not defeat the unconditional understanding that we are all are unique in our own lights and that does not define our character. Youth Action Executive Zayana said, “It's crucial to be inclusive and welcoming toward one another in this largely categorical world, despite the labels and boxes that are constructed for us. So rather than leading with hate and judgement let us instead uplift the LGBTQ+ community."
Youth Action is taking step forward to show support because we all know what it is like to be overlooked, ridiculed, attacked, and stepped on. But those moments where we are seen as the most vulnerable, are the times where we are the strongest. We have nothing more to prove besides being our utmost, truest selves. Unapologetically and fearlessly our authentic selves. Amaya of Youth Action said, “LGBTQ+ people are people, just like everyone else, and should be treated equally.” We as a team can all agree that everyone should be treated with the same level of respect, integrity, and empathy. We may not all experience the same variation of oppression, but we all understand what is like to be oppressed.
Natalie, newest member to Youth Action, said, “The rights of LGBTQ+ individuals continue to be infringed upon, from restrictions on adoption and foster care to societal prejudices that prevent equal job opportunities. It is important that in this month of June we recognize how far we have come and what there is still to be accomplished. Happy Pride!” This nation needs to overcome its biases toward individuals who make this country a home. This month symbolizes the hardships of those individuals who were unable to be themselves 50 years ago. The individuals who had to meet at secret bars or refer to their partners as roommates because their families were not accepting.
June is the month to celebrate all the obstacles that were overcome by the LGBTQ+ community and for allies to show their support and acknowledge that our differences are what bring us closer together as people. So, we say again, and louder for those in the back, in the words of Youth Action member Jordan, “In honor of pride month and every day of the year, we stand with the members of the LGBTQ+ community.” We are proud of your Pride!