In previous years, we’ve celebrated Pride by partnering with our community to design clothing that showcased the work of queer artists and donated a portion of sales to different causes. This year we are taking a different approach—with simple, direct action in support of the community.
So far in 2021, thirty-three states have introduced more than 100 bills aimed at curbing the rights of transgender people. On April 6, Arkansas became the first state to outlaw providing gender-affirming treatment to minors, a move that the American Civil Liberties Union said would “send a terrible and heartbreaking message” to transgender youth across the country.
This is very concerning to us, and in response we're making a $20,000 donation to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. We feel it's important for us all to speak up against inequality, and to stand together against things that aren’t right. We must love one another, and I am hoping you'll join us in supporting this cause.
Sylvia Rivera was a New Yorker who grew up on the streets and became a pioneer in the fight for transgender rights. She fought to make sure that some of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community had a voice. One of my favorite things she said was, “I’m tired of living with labels. I just want to be who I am.”
After her death in 2002, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project was founded in her honor. Its mission is to “guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.” Here in New York, she’s still hard to miss, as the intersection of Christopher and Hudson Streets is named after her.
As we finish up celebrating Pride month, I’m looking forward to a day when we can make Rivera’s vision a reality—to live without labels and just be who we are. Until then, let’s keep pushing for what’s right.