IN celebration of Pride Month, family, friends, allies, community members, businesses, and agencies Hafa Adai and Tirow! Happy Pride Month! Though we need to be vigilant during these challenging times of the pandemic, we can still unite together to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ community. On behalf of Pride Marianas Youth, we are excited to invite you to the CNMI Pride Month Proclamation on June 2, 2021 at 9 a.m. at the Koblerville Basketball court.

Pride Month is a global celebration, one where many collective voices unite to support an amazing cause and honor our LGBTQIA+ community. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or LGBTQ Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day." In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally (Frank Kameny, rights activist).

We want to encourage all partners to get involved and find creative ways to show support. We urge our community to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights. Your continued support is crucial for a loving and accepting environment especially for our LGBTQIA+ youth. Continuing to celebrate Pride Month marks the “the resilience, struggles, celebrations, and pride that exist within our community.... It honors the battles that have paved the way for the progress we now enjoy, while acknowledging the tremendous work that is still left for us to do” in a statement by Capital Pride.  Additionally, “in spite of extreme adversity facing members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we must come together to support, love, resist, and thrive,” the statement says.

We are happy to share our calendar of activities and events. We are inviting the community to join our celebration. Our youth volunteers greatly appreciate your symbols of support. Thank you for your continued support to the LGBTQIA+ community and our youth and the continued efforts as their strongest ally all year long. This gesture is truly appreciated by our grassroots organization of family members, friends, allies, and members of our LGBTQIA+ community.

Last year, 2020, Dr. Bobby Cruz, Pride Marianas Youth volunteer shared, “Pride Month is a celebration of unity. It has been a tradition that goes all the way back to the Stonewall Riots in New York. While we’ve seen tremendous progress in the past 50 years for the advancement of LGBTQIA+ rights, it’s still important because there’s still work to be done to ensure that marginalized groups, particularly our LGBTQ+ community, have an opportunity to participate in this world that they are a part of. Pride is about individuals coming together to support and love one another, resist intolerance and discrimination, and create room for all individuals to thrive.”

Last year in 2020, the Torres-Palacios administration expanded the Pride celebration by declaring CNMI's first-ever Pride Month in 2020, historically celebrated as a one week cumulation of activities. “We need to work together to create a loving and accepting environment, especially for our LGBTQIA+ youth,” said Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios. The work continues to ensure that the CNMI chooses love that sees no bounds. In doing so, we commit to empowering a braver, safer, and more inclusive Marianas.

PRIDE MARIANAS YOUTH

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