Opinion: It’s Time to Champion True Justice for All

I am marching in the Boston Pride Parade, and I’m both excited and sobered. I’m excited because the celebration of our LGBTQ+ communities is full of joy, laughter, and camaraderie. I'm sobered because in the face of anti-LGBTQ+ court decisions, slow-moving local LGBTQ+ legislation, and a state ballot initiative that’s only necessary because so many people want to reverse much-needed protection for transgender rights, I’m reminded that we have so far to go. What’s more, as we approach Pride, we also approach the anniversary of the Pulse Club shootings in Orlando. On June 12, 2016, 49 people’s lives were lost at the hand of hate.

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Seven JP Residents Sworn in During State LGBTQ Youth Commission’s 25th Anniversary

Seven Jamaica Plain residents were sworn in for new terms on the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth on June 20 at the Massachusetts State House, in a ceremony with state Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders to recognize the Commission’s 25th anniversary. “Contrary to perceptions of Massachusetts as a safe haven for LGBTQ youth, we know that queer young people continue to experience bullying, homelessness, criminalization, and lack of access to sexual health information,” said Tanekwah Hinds, Jamaica Plain resident and chair of the Commission’s Community Relations Committee. “We have a responsibility, as a community and as a state, to ensure that LGBTQ youth can thrive across the Commonwealth and right here in JP.”

Governor William Weld swore in the first members of what was then the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in June of 1992, in response to high suicide rates among LGBTQ young people. Today, the Commission remains the first and only entity of its kind in the country. “For 25 years, the LGBTQ Youth Commission has played a critical role in the continued struggle for equal rights and protections for our young LGBTQ people all across the Commonwealth,” said state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-2nd Suffolk.

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