Los Angeles LGBT Centers Responds toAnti-LGBTQ+ Demonstrations at Saticoy Elementary School
LOS ANGELES, June 2 — In response to the anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations at Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued the following statement from Chief Impact Officer, Terra Russell-Slavin:
“I am beyond disappointed to read about the events unfolding at Saticoy Elementary School—and not just from where I sit as the Chief Impact Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. To be completely frank, I am more so concerned as a lesbian mother who’s raising a child in Los Angeles County.
The rhetoric we’re seeing from ‘concerned parents’ at Saticoy Elementary mirrors the dangerous misinformation campaigns that have been lodged against our community by far-right activists and religious extremists. For the past few years, they’ve planted seeds in the public imagination that LGBTQ+ people are attempting to ‘indoctrinate’ or ‘sexualize’ children. These outrageous lies have, sadly, taken hold throughout our country; the backlash we’re facing is among the worst chapters in our movement’s history. There are more than 500 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the books this year, accompanied by an increase in threats to LGBTQ service providers and schoolteachers, the banning of books that tell our stories and history, and the criminalization of our access to healthcare.
The Pride celebration scheduled at Saticoy Elementary School was meant to celebrate LGBTQ+ community members and families like mine. My wife and I are proudly raising our child to be accepting, welcoming, and loving to everyone—and hope that his education reflects those same values of basic human dignity and decency. The fact that this is somehow a controversial or ‘hot-button issue’ is not just alarming, it’s deeply saddening. Families like mine deserve to be included and represented in our classrooms and our school events. My child should not be educated to be ashamed of his mothers. I am not a threat to anyone by loving my family.
As the Chief Impact Officer of the Center, I know that if this kind of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration is happening here in Los Angeles, this fight is only getting uglier in other parts of our country. That’s why we have to confront ignorance and hatred head-on, and make sure we don’t give it the oxygen to proliferate. We should be leaders of this movement and a safe haven for queer and trans people everywhere—and we should be using our example to help families across the country fight for their rights and their safety.
I hope LAUSD knows they can always rely on the Center to intervene in situations like these—and I hope the parents protesting Pride at Saticoy Elementary can come to an understanding that there is nothing dangerous about LGBTQ+ people. On the contrary: The real danger is the homophobia and transphobia that result in organizations like ours needing to house, feed, educate, and celebrate youth displaced by their families simply based on their identity. If we really care about our youth, we will nurture them with examples of radical love and acceptance—which is exactly what the spirit of Pride is all about.”To find resources to support LGBTQ+, trans and gender-expansive students, please visitOut For Safe Schools. To trans and gender-expansive youth: we see you, we love you, and we are here to fight with you.
About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.