Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison ( 15th District ) hosted a "Celebrating Pride 2020" virtual discussion June 5 with community leaders on various issues impacting the LGBTQ community.
Panelists included The Pinta Pride Project Inc. Co-Founder and Director Carolyn Pinta, Equality Illinois Communications Manager and Press Secretary Myles Brady Davis and LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois Executive Director Jerome' Holston.
"With this Pride Month coinciding with demonstrations across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd it is important to remember that it was excessive force and brutal policing that led to Stonewall," said Morrison in his opening statement.
"Had Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie and Sylvia Rivera not fought back at Stonewall would being who I am still be criminal today? When I say our fight is not over, I mean that our rights are not fully secured on the federal level especially for transgender and gender non-binary individuals. Police brutality and crime is often still perpetuated on transgender women of color at an alarming rate. Our work is not done until there is true equity for all communities."
Holston said the chamber is asking its members to have a more inclusive approach to their Pride celebrations. He added that they are releasing a Pride and COVID-19 PPE guide.
Pinta, who lives in Buffalo Grove, spoke about the origins of her organization that began when her daughter came outat first as a lesbian and later as bisexual when she was 11. She added that this spurred her family to attend Aurora's first Pride Parade in 2018; she said that, at this event, they were showered with love and joy from everyone they encountered. That, Pinta added, led to the formation of the Buffalo Grove Pride Paradebecause her daughter wanted to have one in their hometownand the creation of The Pinta Pride Project.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Buffalo Grove Pride Parade, like others around the world, has been canceled this year; however, Pinta said they will be festooning their home Sunday, June 7, noon-3 p.m., with rainbow-themed decorations. Pinta called on others in Buffalo Grove to do the same; so far, 94 other homes have committed to this endeavor. She said the parade will also feature DJs and drag queens.
Pinta also said The Pinta Project "stands in solidarity with our Black siblings and we have found ways to incorporate that into our weekend. Any monetary donations we receive along the route will be donated to Brave Space Alliance. Also, every home will be displaying their colorful rainbow #BlackLivesMatter signs … to show them we support them."
Brady Davis said Equality Illinois is asking that everyone donate to Black-, queer- and people of color-led organizations, adding that it has donated to the Chicago Community Bond Fund to help bail out #BlackLivesMatter protestors. They added that on Saturday, June 20, there will be the first-ever statewide Pride virtual broadcast"Can't Stop Our Pride, One Day, One Illinois"featuring a variety of activities and performances.
Other discussion topics included completing the census, registering to vote, ways to celebrate Pride month in quarantine, struggles their organizations have faced in recent months, and the panelists' first memories of Pride.
To watch the full discussion, visit facebook.com/watch/live/ .