As we kick off Pride Month, we are struck by how important and meaningful that word is. Pride. We honor our LGBTQIA+ staff members, students, alumni and families. For many of us, this is a time to celebrate our identities and voices, our activism and visibility, and all of the beauty, strength, complexity and diversity inherent in the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s a time to take pride in self and in self-expression. And it’s a time for all of us, everywhere, to recognize that the LGBTQIA+ community has risen up in the face of discrimination and oppression. Pride is an act of resistance.
This month, as you celebrate, we encourage you to honor Pride in ways that feel meaningful to you: whether that means learning more about the history of Pride, fighting legislation that attacks the rights of LGBTQIA+, or starting a Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) at your school.
Interested in more resources? Click here for additional information for schools, students, and families.
We asked our AF community to share their thoughts and feelings about Pride and what it means to them. Here are just a few reflections from members of our AF Team & Family:
What is something you wish people knew about Pride Month?
“I wish people knew the history of Pride Month. So many people celebrate Pride Month and big companies use the month as a marketing strategy, but many people can’t tell the story of how Pride came to be. I would love if people learned about the Stonewall riots and how Black trans women, such as Marsha P. Johnson, fought for us to now be able to celebrate Pride.” – Jose A. Guerrero, Associate Dean of School Culture, AF Brownsville Middle
“Beyond what some images portray, this month we give honor to those who died fighting for our rights – so we can be ourselves today.” – Louis A Vega-Poturak, Student Services Manager, AF Amistad High
Why is Pride Month important to you?
“When I was a closeted queer high schooler in the 90s, the idea of coming out of the closet seemed impossible. Fast forward 20 years … I am so happy and PROUD of who I am in a way that my teenage self probably couldn’t imagine. Personally, pride month is also important to me because I am the proud partner of a trans man — getting the opportunity to bear witness to his medical transition and seeing him become his most authentic self has been a blessing.” – Christina Braganza, Chief Program Officer
“This is a time to celebrate diversity and inclusion. Love is love is love.” – Jill Giles, Teacher, AF Hartford High
What’s something you love about being part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
“There’s something so powerful about being part of a community that embraces loving yourself and being proud of who you are.” – Michael Hendricks, Regional Superintendent
“As a member of the queer community, I am proud of the courage, joy, and creativity that is at our foundation. We accept and support each other, even while sometimes smiling through tears, and hold one another up when life gets us down!” – Melissa Izzo, Director of School Operations, Amistad Academy Elementary
- Supporting LGBTQ+ Students of Color
- LGBT Student Resources and Support
- PFLAG: Loving Families
- The Trevor Project Resources
- GLAAD LGBTQ Resource List
- GLSEN Resources