Dr. Christina Greer (115266)
Dr. Christina Greer

June is always such a busy month. School is ending and parents are trying to figure out what to do with the kids for the summer. New Yorkers have an election on June 28th to help decide who will be our governor, lieutenant governor, and who will represent us in the legislature and senate in Albany. We will also honor and celebrate all of the fathers and dads in our lives later in the month as well.

I like to think of June as a time to celebrate and honor my loved ones who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. June is Pride Month and was designated by presidential proclamation in 1999 and is a time to celebrate the many contributions of the LBGT community. Even though we have made some great strides towards inclusion and more wide scale acknowledgment and acceptance of our friends and family members who identify as LGBT, we still have a long way to go.

Civil rights and civil liberties of LGBT Americans are still not widespread and we must remember that injustice for even one of us is an injustice for all of us. Although many battles have been won, there are still so many prejudices and ways LGBT people are discriminated against. The overall livelihood of so many LGBT-identifying persons in this country and abroad are consistently being threatened from housing discrimination, adoptions, job prospects, and schooling, as evidenced by Florida’s recent “Don’t Say Gay” bill and other attempts to marginalize LGBT people.

We must remember that June 28th designates the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City, one of the key events in gay/lesbian civil rights. Since gay men are still discriminated against as blood donors in so many spaces, we can do our part and participate in World Blood Donor Day on June 14th to help increase the supply of blood needed during this crucial time. In addition, World Sickle Cell Day is on June 19th and donating blood can assist those in need, especially since Sickle Cell disproportionately affects African Americans. We can also help bring awareness to National HIV Testing Day on June 27th to help promote health and safety for all people in our communities.

There is so much going on in June, I almost forgot about Juneteenth on June 19th, which is also Father’s Day this year. Many of you may remember during the summer of reckoning in 2020, Juneteenth became an integral part of the discussion of the legacy of inequity and anti-Black racism that has permeated this nation for centuries.

No matter what you choose to observe or celebrate, June presents a myriad of ways we can contribute to our greater society through awareness, donation, or education to those in our community. It is my hope you will use this month to further educate yourself and spread the word to others.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.

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