By Chris Frost
Oxnard—The Oxnard City Council took a few minutes out of its busy June 4, agenda to issue a proclamation declaring June 2019 as Pride Month in the city.
Ventura County Diversity Collective President Genevieve Flores-Haro accepted the award and said the proclamation is important because it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, that would not have been possible without Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and other trans women of color.
The Stonewall Riots took place on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York and are considered the cornerstone of the LGBTQ rights movement in the United States.
“As LGBTQ people, our visibility is our resilience, and our resistance,” she said. “In the 50 years after the Stonewall Riots, we’ve gained much as an LGBTQ community, but there is so much more work to be done. In 2019 alone, six trans women of color have been murdered, the most recent happening on June 1, of this year, and the number is probably higher as these murders usually go unreported.”
Trans women of color have a life expectancy of 35 years, she said, compared to 75 years across the nation.
“Here in Ventura County, HIV/AIDS rates are rising among Latino and Latina priority populations, and Ventura County’s only LGBTQ clinic is under a threat of draconian budget cuts,” she said. “We have a lot of work to do. We can do better than throwing a rainbow at something and calling it a day.”
She invited the crowd to the group’s 20th Anniversary Pride Event, Aug. 17, at Promenade Park in Ventura.
“We hope you will join this community in making the changes we want to see in the world,” she said.
The crowd at the meeting gave the Diversity Collective a warm round of applause following the proclamation.
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