Celebrating Pride Month

sidewalk painted in rainbow colors

2021 Pride Month Message

By Rachel Friederich, ICSEW Communications Chair

Pride month commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion 51 years ago, which most historians consider the start of the modern LGBTQ+ movement. At the time, police raids on bars catering to LGBTQ+ people were common, on June 28, 1969, patrons fought back. The event sparked a national firestorm and gave activism for LGBTQ+ rights new visibility.

While Pride month is a time to recognize celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, we must also acknowledge hardships that the LGBTQ community continue to experience, decades after that uprising.

Support for LGBTQ Employees

The state also has RAIN, the Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network business resource group that involves state agencies on how to create inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ employees and customers. Many of our employees serve on our state’s various business resource groups. As members of Corrections executive strategy team, we commend supervisors who allow employees time to participate in the important of work these BRGs.

RAIN has several events planned during pride month including a gender identity panel, pride trivia, and a general membership meeting June 17.  RAIN also has a free downloadable pride month toolkit for state agencies. View it here.

Related: View Gov. Inslee’s proclamation of Pride Month:

Looking forward, more needs to be done

The struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ+ people are spotlighted in June, but the work to achieve equity continues year-round. As Pride month begins, we encourage you to explore some resources from state and national organizations about how to support LGBTQ+ people.

  • Washington State LGBTQ Caucus. The caucus brings together LGBTQ+ legislators from the House and the Senate to work on bills and budget items, while making sure bills moving through the legislative process do so with a lens of equity that reflects the needs of LGBTQ+ people.
  • Washington State LGBTQ Commission that works to improve the state’s interface with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit and intersex community and advocates for LGBTQ equity in all aspects of state government.
  • Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network: Offers resources on how to support LGBTQ state employees and a map of organizations that support LGBTQ+ communities in each county
  • National Institute of Corrections: has a page of LGBTQ+ resources including federal policy recommendations for addressing criminalization of LGBTQ+ people, cultural competency trainings and interacting with LGBTQ+ people in institutions
  • Ihollaback: offers free bystander intervention training to stop LGBTQ+ harassment