Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization and California 100, a new statewide initiative focused on developing an inclusive vision and strategy for the state’s next century incubated at the University of California and Stanford, teamed up for Pride Month to ask LGBTQ+ Californians to envision their ideal future for the next 100 years. As part of the partnership, EQCA hosted immersive virtual forums and recruited participants from LGBTQ centers, college and university Pride centers, and allied groups to gather responses to the question: What are your reflections about reclaiming the future of Pride?
A sample of the responses can be found below, as well as samples of colorful portraits using the artistic Aura photography method.
“California’s history on civil rights is checkered at best, but we know that in the last two decades the tide has turned toward more favorable and inclusive policies, including for LGBTQ rights,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, Executive Director of California 100. “Just imagine in the next two decades – or century – how much more equitable California can look if we continue creating a future where everyone is welcome and included in the decision making process regardless of who you are, who you love, or how you identify? That’s what this project aims to explore – the future that self-identified LGBTQ Californians want to see.”
The partnership runs through the month of June. The facilitators for the two forums engaged each group separately and provided appropriate educational tools and impactful messaging to engage participation that provides an honest conversation about what they want to see for future generations of LGBTQ+ youth. The discussion included questions about how sexual orientation and gender identity or expression can improve in the coming decades. EQCA also collected responses at Pride celebrations happening across California.
“As California holds the title of the most diverse state and continues to increase its diversity, we must listen to the voices of the younger generation regarding the future of LGBTQ+ lives in the state,” said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang. “Equality California is excited to launch this partnership with California 100 and share findings while incorporating an artistic visual component through aura photography.”