In the US, June is celebrated as Pride Month, commemorating the ongoing struggles and the people who have fought hard for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Here’s why World Animal Protection stands in solidarity.
It will take all of us supporting each other to create the compassionate world we wish to see.
In June of 1969, the Stonewall Riots, which lasted several days, started in response to police raids targeting the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Stormé Delarverie—Black and Latinx activists—are credited with leading and starting the riots that ultimately paved the way for many of the LGBTQIA+ rights we see today.
For years following the riots, June has been named “Pride Month,” helping community members and allies celebrate and be proud of who they are and who they love. Many of our staff members have participated in past marches, including the New York City Pride March which ends its route at the historic Stonewall Inn.
While our mission is to move the world to protect animals, our animal welfare goals are powered by people. Our staff, volunteers, and supporters come from all different backgrounds and experiences, and deserve a community where they feel safe and supported. It is why we so firmly condemn hateful, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and sexist rhetoric on our social media and in offline events. We are a movement driven by compassion and we must be at our best selves in order to help protect animals.
Throughout history, Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately affected by systemic racism, oppression, and police brutality in this country. Those same communities are the ones that led the fight for equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people. This year especially, we are reminded of the strength, resilience, and love it took to pave the way forward for a more equitable world. The LGBTQIA+ community would not be where it is today without the efforts of Black and Latinx queer folx. It will take all of us supporting each other to create the compassionate world we wish to see.
The parallels between animal protection and other social justice movements cannot be understated and will be a core philosophy in our organization as we move towards a more intersectional identity.
While we have work to do internally and externally, World Animal Protection is committed to bettering our organization through listening, actively participating, and continuing to amplify other social justice movements. You can view our commitment to racial equality here.
Nobody is free when others are oppressed, and we will continue to fight against injustices to help move towards a more compassionate world for all beings.