Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court released a monumental decision affirming that the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals are protected from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a day to be celebrated now and for years to come – but it is also a day long overdue.
The fight is far from over for the LGBTQ+ community. Historically, the queer community has been marginalized in the workplace and beyond, including in healthcare. LGBTQ+ youth are four-times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Transwomen are less likely to receive primary care than their cis-gendered counterparts, often citing fears of discrimination. And while the global community has made great strides to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, men who have sex with men still bear the greatest burden. In 2018, 69% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. were among men who have sex with men. Black/African American men who have sex with men are more affected by HIV than any other group in the U.S., accounting for 37% of new HIV infections among all gay and bisexual men.
Still the community rises. Change is happening around the world, with more legislative victories to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. We are excited to celebrate this progress as we reflect on the roots of LGBTQ+ social justice across the globe. In the U.S., we are proud to recognize the work of transgender activists such as Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera in helping to lead the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the powder keg for what would become the Gay Liberation Movement. Fifty years later, we owe our current progress to these two fearless Black and Brown transgender women who risked their lives in the fight for LGBTQ+ liberation.
Nearly 20 years ago, our firm was founded on the belief that the voices of people living with HIV are critical in transforming the development and delivery of lifesaving tools and services. That commitment continues today through our work to advance access to healthcare and improve the health of underserved people around the world. As Pride month comes to a close, we carry this forward with us, today and every day.