History was made in the streets of New York in June 1970 when the first Pride march took place, but queer voices and experiences have been around for so much longer — as long as all humans have. The LGBTQIA+ community has endured countless barriers, marking the community with strength, resilience, and pride.
Pride Month is a month-long observance in June in celebration of LGBTQIA+ people—and their history, culture, and contributions and their communities. LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive term that includes people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, and pansexual. C&T is a place where everyone is welcome. We seek to inspire creativity and amplify compelling stories, techniques, and artistry from makers of all backgrounds.
Keep reading for an interview with some of our C&T Staff, and feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Carmen Benzine, Digital Marketing Coordinator (she/they), Bisexual demigirl: “Pride month is a time where people can truly show who they are. It's a time to celebrate what was once taboo. The first few prides were protests, and because of that, we have a chance to be loud and proud.”
Amy Barrett-Daffin, Publisher (she/her), Heterosexual Cis Woman: “Pride month is a time to honor a marginalized community, to acknowledge that everyone deserves to be seen for who they are, celebrating and amplifying the differences in our culture. One of my sons is gay. It was hard for him when he was young, because he was being teased and bullied for being different. As a society we should work to raise people up and encourage their uniqueness instead of trying to stifle them into conforming to some antiquated societal norm that destroys their spirit and desire to live.”
Sarah Wolf, Senior Account Manager (she/her), Heterosexual Cis Woman: “Pride Month is a celebration of our rainbow of beautiful souls who should be able to be whoever they wish to be and be proud and comfortable in their own skin.”
What are some of the important issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community today that you are passionate about?
Carmen: “It's unfortunate that so many come to mind. I think the biggest one is homelessness. So many people are kicked out of their homes because of who they are and as a result have to struggle. The cost of medical care, and hoops to jump through, for those that want to transition or get affirming procedures. Another is the stigma around trans people and their privacy. Just because someone is "different" doesn't mean you can ask what's in their pants. One I'm close to is the bi erasure within the community itself. The idea that we're "not gay enough" or we benefit from straight passing is wild to me.”
Amy: “I am passionate about the ability for people of all genders to feel safe. Whether it is about using a restroom, traveling, going to school or just being out in the world I think this community deserves to feel safe where they are. Free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying. I also believe that they should be free to love and to marry whomever they want. I hate that my son makes decisions about where to travel based on if he and his partner will be safe there.”
Sarah: “Same-sex marriage should be here to stay and it's a basic right that I worry is always on shaky ground. Everyone should be free to love and marry whoever they choose to be with!”
What LGBTQIA+ public figure, past or present, inspires you the most and why?
Carmen: “A few come to mind but I think Elliot Page. He came out as trans with a spotlight on him and I thought it went fabulously. His new name has been used everywhere from the beginning. His TV character was changed to trans to fit his new identity which is a huge milestone for media. I hope it inspires other actors to come out and be more comfortable. Representation is so important in media. I also hope it puts pressure on media outlets to create avenues to help actors be themselves without losing their jobs.”
Amy: “Harvey Milk. He was the first openly gay politician to run for office and win. He was a hero to his community and opened the door for so many.”
Sarah: “I think Ru Paul is such a groundbreaker and has allowed folks in the LGBTQ community to really let loose and show their fun, artistic, authentic side of themselves. He was a trailblazer and is still going strong.”
C&T will be donating to The Rainbow Community Center, an organization that works to build community, equity, and well-being among LGBTQIA+ people.