“Our Pride Won’t Stop: Highlighting Pioneers and Champions of the LGBTQIA+ Movement.” 

Many pioneers, celebrities and tastemakers have used their platforms to raise awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community its contributions art, culture, industry, civil rights, and social justice.  Bridge Philanthropic Consulting is highlighting 12 members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the company’s newest Iconic Impact Initiative paper, “Our Pride Won’t Stop: Highlighting Pioneers and Champions of the LGBTQIA+ Movement.”

The paper features LGBTQIA+ leaders and their professional and social change journeys, including Robin Roberts, Alphonso David, Don Lemon, RuPaul, Wanda Sykes, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Frank Ocean, Marsha P. Johnson, an activist drag queen at the 1969 Stonewall uprising, and Bayard Rustin, who was arrested in 1953 for having consensual sex with two men but later became a leader in social movements for civil rights, gay rights, equality, and nonviolence.

Although the LGBTQ equal rights fight had made some significant gains — same-sex marriage was legalized by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — the LGBTQ community has experienced decidedly mixed outcomes in today’s right-leaning High Court, including a June 17, 2021, decision that a Catholic foster care agency in Philadelphia is permitted to turn away gay and lesbian couples as clients.

“To be gay in America is difficult enough. To be Black and gay is to fight a two-front war,” says Dwayne Ashley, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Bridge Philanthropic Consulting LLC.

While the struggle continues, fortunately, there is no shortage of those willing to fight. At Bridge Philanthropic Consulting (BPC), we know that the fight cannot only be about money. Philanthropy is also about those who are willing to sacrifice, often at great personal cost, but for the greater good. Many African Americans among the LGBTQ community have fought for gay rights, yet rarely get the recognition deserved. We celebrate Pride Month by saluting them here.

The team of writers on this position paper are with Bridge Philanthropic Consulting: Tashion Macon, Ph.D., [Partner and Culturalist], Jennifer Jiles, [Partner and Professor of Communication, Georgia State University], and Dwayne Ashley, [Founder & CEO, Bridge Philanthropic Consulting]. Combined the writing team has more than 60 years of experience in the philanthropy, communications, and pop-culture industries.

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