June is nationally recognized as Pride Month. It’s an opportunity to recognize and show a solidarity of support for the LGBT community. Men and women who lost their lives due to HIV/AIDS and hate crimes are remembered. What started as a Gay Pride Day has grown tremendously. Unfortunately, the LGBT community deals with domestic violence with less support and resources. There is still a lot of debate centered around gay marriages, transgender bathrooms and an overall respect for one to live his or her life in the way that’s most comfortable. Even though there are a number of barriers which still need to be addressed, I’ve seen a positive surge of help, hope, support, acceptance and most of all, love over the years.

Nationally, we as a society just paid tribute to the 49 lives lost last year at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. It was a senseless crime carried out based on a foundation of hate. The way the family members and friends have come together after this tragedy has definitely been inspiring. It is my hope as we continue to address the many intersections of domestic violence that we include and enforce tougher laws on hate crimes and provide more inclusive means to support ALL communities in need of services. Abuse knows no boundaries and neither should service providers or elected officials when it comes to providing resources and holistic support.