YGBW Celebrates Pride and Embraces All LGBTQI+ Identities

Rainbow flab over feet for PRIDE parade

Pride month honors the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan and the collective efforts to achieve equal justice and opportunity for LGBTQI+ Americans. It commemorates and recognizes the marked impact and countless contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally and globally. 

The Y, driven by a shared commitment to ensuring all people are treated with dignity and respect, makes every effort to foster equity and inclusion. We welcome all. 

As we wrap up Pride month, we asked some of our team what Pride means to them and how they show up each day for members of our community. 

“Pride is a special month because it intensifies the visibility for the LGBTQI+ community.   In my perspective, the LGBTQI+ community depends on the evolution of the visibility. A long time ago, I decided that no matter where I went, or what I did with my life, I was always going to be very true to myself which has not always been easy,” shares Bridgette Barbara-Byrne.

“As an executive director and association camp support across eight branches, I work with a lot of staff and members across a multigenerational spectrum.  In my perspective, it is important for me-that for them- I remain visible as an out member of the LGBTQI+ community in a senior role and continue to be a voice for all of them when it comes to trainings, policies and advancements. “

At the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, we stand against homophobia, transphobia, racism and discrimination. We show up today and every day.

Denise Day, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine shared, “It is important to me that the YMCA of Greater Brandywine is an organization that continually seeks to be better and do better when it comes to embracing and supporting diversity in all forms. We want to ensure that everyone feels safe, supported and included at the Y.” 

Over the past several years, YGBW has championed efforts to eliminate gendered language from paperwork, signage and materials, provide training and practice using pronouns and being respectful of an individuals’ self -identification as well as host various diversity, equity and inclusion trainings to educate staff. 

Actions matter. Words matter. 

The statistics are staggering. The importance of having at least one accepting adult in their lives can reduce the risk of suicide attempts among LGBTQI+ youth by 40% while having affirming spaces and activities can positively impact self-esteem and is protective against anxiety and depression. While there is still much to learn, it begins with acceptance and an openness and willingness to grow and evolve and ensure that our facilities, activities and programs remain safe spaces for all. 

Join us in learning more through one of the organizations highlighted below. 

It Gets Better Project 

In 2010, LGBTQ+ people and their allies all over the world uttered three words that would give rise to a global movement — it gets better. A wildly successful social media campaign was born, with more than 70,000 people sharing their stories to provide hope and encouragement to young LGBTQI+ people.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. One accepting adult decreases the risk of suicide by 40% for LGBTQ young people.

Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law. We empower our 3 million members and supporters to mobilize against attacks on the most marginalized people in our community.




Category: Community