June is a loud month for the US and for very good reasons.  Not only are we showing our Pride all month long, but today, June 19th is a day of celebration and remembrance for all US citizens.  Today, Juneteenth, is a federal holiday that marks the day the enslaved black and African-American descendants were finally freed in Galveston, Texas – 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. But what does Juneteenth have to do with sex education?

Sexuality and Slavery

Cutting to the chase, enslaved individuals – of all genders – were repeatedly sexually assaulted by both their male and female enslavers. When the slave trade ended, the only way to continue to have people in their fields and houses was to ‘breed’ them. Many enslaved women’s values were based on their uterus and their ability to reproduce (or just appearing to be young and fertile). Enslaved men and women were also stereotyped as highly sexualized individuals and society continues to push this stereotype onto black men and women when it is not true. When Juneteenth finally came around, it was celebrated and yes, is still celebrated today. However, it is also a reminder than BIPOC individuals, especially those who are queer, have had to fight and continue to fight for their rights to not just live genuinely, but in a safe world.

Intersectionality

This about it, a LOT of events that helped give freedoms to queer people in the United States involved BIPOC folx and with our most notable event and person was Stonewall Riots and Marsha P. Johnson. However, there was two more lesser known riots that also involved black and brown queer individuals. The Cooper Donuts Riot and Compton Cafeteria. Although not queer, interracial marriage (aka Loving Day), helped paved the way for same-sex marriage. The AIDS epidemic was not only heavily focused on gay men, but black and brown men and trans individuals. The 2022 repeal of Roe v. Wade and the safe access to abortions is affecting trans and other minority individuals more than cis-white women, which pregnancy and childbirth was already more deadly to black and brown birthing people!

Remember: Pride is a protest and once could argue that Juneteeth is as well. If you celebrate Pride and have any ounce of privilege (cough cough cis and white like myself), then you should be just as grateful that Juneteenth occurred. You should not only be remembering and celebrating with our black and brown queer community, but working to fight for and protect their rights too. Without Juneteeth, we might have no Pride.

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