Dear Editor,

With everything that’s been happening, Pride Month basically has taken the back seat. In my opinion, that’s ok.

Every year we have two months designated for celebration and to encourage openness about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and plus. June is the Pride Month which in part, honors The Stonewall Inn rebellion. It sparked the earthquake for our community. October commemorates the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Those who went before me paved the way so that I could have a better life. Some came after me and changed the world for people such as myself. Take Matthew Shepard, who was born in 1976, the year I graduated from QHS. On Oct. 11, 1998, he was brutally murdered in Colorado because he was gay. His death sparked a new movement in the LGBTQ+ community. He died the day after the National Coming Out Day, which was first celebrated in 1988. Ten years before his murder.

Brandon Teena was a trans man. He was biologically a female and he lived his life as a male. Two friends raped and murdered him in 1993.

Oliver “Billy” W. Sipple, a decorated U.S. Marine and Vietnam veteran saved President Ford’s life during an assassination by Sara Jane Moore in 1975. At first he was celebrated as a hero. The next day he was outed as being gay. Because he was gay, his relationship with his parents were hostile. Later they reconciled, but it was still strained. He died alone in 1989.

Lastly but not the least, it’s not just the LGBTQ+ community, but also our fair-minded friends, families and the non-LGBTQ+ community, who are part of the equality journey so every LGBTQ+ kid can grow up and be all they can be.

Gayle E. Sorlien, Quincy

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