amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Pride in the Midst of a Pandemic

Saluting our friends, family and colleagues in the LGBTQ community

We needed something to celebrate. It came in the form of a stunning and resounding 6-3 Supreme Court decision handed down on Monday, June 16—in the middle of Pride month, no less! In a truly historic victory for the LGBTQ community, the Court found that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. Long overdue, of course, but a victory nonetheless.

Pride

After the massive crowds that gathered in New York City and around the world last year, Pride celebrations take on a very different complexion this year. In the midst of a pandemic, protests, economic dislocation and social distancing, celebrations will be muted and will be largely virtual. amfAR will be represented in Global Pride 2020, a 24-hour streaming event on June 27 that will feature world leaders, politicians, activists, civil society groups and others from around the globe in what is billed as “the world’s biggest ever LGBTQI+ celebration.”

As always during Pride month, we remember and honor the countless heroes of the LGBTQ community who have so valiantly led the fight against HIV and, in many cases, succumbed to AIDS. Ironically, their fight for increased investments in biomedical research, expanded access to experimental drugs, and accelerated drug approvals helped prepare us for new viral threats such as the one we face today.  The legacy of the LGBTQ community in pioneering healthcare and research activism cannot be overstated.

At amfAR, our relief and jubilation over the Supreme Court decision is tempered by feelings of profound sadness as we remember all those we have lost to AIDS. And, of course, it was just a month ago that we lost an iconic warrior of the LGBTQ community, Larry Kramer. Though he might have been pleased with the Supreme Court decision, Larry surely wouldn’t have been satisfied. For in the fight for equality and respect, there remains so much work to be done.