This Pride, it feels disingenuous to wish our community a happy pride without acknowledging the struggles, the obstacles, the pain our community is feeling right now.
This year, there have been approximately 530 anti-trans and anti-queer bills proposed nationwide.
Right now, members of our community are fighting for life-saving medical care.
Are fighting to keep custody of our kids.
Are fighting to keep disability.
Are fighting to keep our jobs.
Are fighting against deportation.
Are fighting against police brutality.
Right now, our community is fighting to survive.
80% of the Northland Pride organizers and dedicated volunteers are transgender.
80% are people of color.
100% have been affected by what's happening here in Kansas City, and across the country.
With the Missouri Attorney General's "emergency ruling" came an abrupt shift within Northland Pride's organizing. Priorities switched as folx turned towards surviving increasingly hostile grounds. The organization itself hit a sudden pause as we each turned towards finding stable healthcare, safer spaces, and secure jobs.
The plans Northland Pride had for this year fell to the wayside as we worked to instead overcome the obstacles and hurdles set before us - I'm proud of how the group took care of each other. I'm so thankful for the grace and understanding we've given each other. The organization's pause, however, has unfortunately led to its ultimate close: we simply do not have the capacity to keep the organization going.
I'd like to take a moment to thank the co-organizers and dedicated volunteers who've not only helped me in this work, but also inspire me every day:
Each of you have brought your full, authentic selves into this work, shared powerful insight and wisdom, and I know will continue to do amazing things. I'm so glad our paths have crossed.
I worked hard to ensure that the most marginalized of our community were at the helm and centered at Northland Pride; I hope that was reflected in the programming that's been created over the years. I'm proud of the Kansas City queer community, and I hope this organization served the community well.
This Pride, I'd like to share a queer blessing for the community:
May you smile brightly this month, full of authentic queer joy.
May you laugh loudly this month, full of authentic queer glee.
May you find support this month, in all those close to you.
May you find strength this month, inside you and all around you.
You are resilient.
Your are powerful.
You are amazing.
You are important.
Thank you Kansas City, wishing you all the best and all my love. Though this chapter is closing, I know we each will go on to write amazing stories.
- JN Hernández