Planned Parenthood Reaffirms ‘All Are Welcome’


At the beginning of June, Planned Parenthood, of which we are an affiliate, reaffirmed its commitment to serving all people. “This June, and every day of the year,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Planned Parenthood stands with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We see you. We care about you. We stand with you—no matter where you live, no matter what.”

But in the midst of a month intended to represent pride and love and growth and acceptance, LGBTQI community has been hit with an unforgivable tragedy with the mass shooting at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

At a time like this, it is easy to feel helpless. If you feel this way, there a number of resources online containing ideas for ways you can take action.

Everyday Feminism, Lifehacker, and many other sites have created lists with suggestions that include blood donations, vigils, and acts of kindness.

On GoFundMe, there is a still-active fundraising campaign where you can donate money to the victims of the shooting, and to their families.

Our colleagues down in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida have also mentioned that another immediate need are gift cards for the victims’ families to purchase groceries. You can order gift cards online via places like Target and email them to Anna V. Eskamani, PPSWCF’s Senior Director of Public Affairs & Field Operations. $10 and $25 gift cards are preferred.

There is a #PulseOrlandoSyllabus being passed around on social media, containing resources being compiled by librarians and teachers. Sections include self-care, scholarly books, fiction, memoir, and much, much more.

Award-winning online community Autostraddle—a website created for and primarily aimed at lesbian, bisexual, and queer women (cis and trans)—has pulled together a collection of links related to the shooting, opening up with the names and ages of the 49 people who were killed at Pulse.

And there is more. So much more.

“Although continuing to face oppression, LGBTQ communities are resilient, strong, and loving,” said Richards. “Planned Parenthood is proud to stand with them, and is committed to making our country a place where no one experiences discrimination or violence because of their gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”

So let’s go. There is work to be done.