What's Next For The LGBTQ Community?

by Rachel Krantz

There is a stark contrast between the tone of last year's NYC Pride Parade and this year's. In 2015, love had just won — the Supreme Court's decision on Obergefell v. Hodgesfinally made marriage equality a reality in the United States. Everywhere you went at Pride last year, people were holding flags and wearing shirts bearing the hashtag #LoveWins. This year, the tone is more somber. In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, we're reminded that while marriage equality was a huge win, it is far from the end — or even middle — of the fight for LGBTQ equality and safety.

Many LGBTQ activists argue that the movement's next national goals should focus on homeless LGBTQ youth, trans* rights, or employment discrimination. While the NYC Pride Parade attendees I spoke to touched upon these goals, two themes emerged: the importance of inclusion and intersectionality within the LGBTQ community itself, and the desire to feel more safe. The movement can look at the big picture — but it can also be as "small" as fighting for the right to hold your partner's hand without harassment.

So I asked New Yorkers at Pride: what would you like to see next for the LGBTQ community? Here were their answers.

Elliot, 19, Queer & Trans

"More positive representation in children's media."

Brandy, 15, Lesbian

"Not to wait for the next tragedy to take action."

Rachel, 22, Gay

"More acceptance within the community."

Joel, 17, Gender Fluid

"Unity, love, and acceptance from non-lgbt ... and no more stupid bathroom discussions; they're literally just toilets"

Virginia, 20, Bisexual Cis Woman

"Intersectional acceptance and cooperation."

Lillian, 23, Gay & Stacey, 25, Queer

"Trans rights now!"

Joesph, 49, Gay

"Holding hands in public with my husband without being scared!"

John, 29, Gay

"Unjudgemental views for loving someone. #LoveWins."

Paul, 59, Gay

"Continued unity within our communities. Embrace people's differences."

Joanna, 23, "Low-Key Bi"

Rich, 24, Gay Cis Man

He added, "Someone has to be the asshole on here, so it might as well be me!"

John, 20, Bisexual

Yulissa, 19, Female

"Being with my girlfriend without anyone saying anything like, 'Ew, disgusting.'"

Images: Rachel Krantz/Bustle