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Happy Pride Month 2024

Pride at Work

The celebration of Pride month every year in June reminds us of the need to make our workplaces safe and inclusive for everyone; this is particularly true for workers in state and local governments. Public workplaces must be hospitable and welcoming to each of us regardless of our sexual orientation or gender expression. AFT Maryland has been at the forefront of the labor movement in Maryland ensuring that our members feel supported and confident of their place in the AFT Maryland and the larger labor family.

Recognizing and valuing LGBTQIA+ kin in the labor movement takes on a unique importance for public employees on account of the residents we serve. Maryland rightfully touts and celebrates the diverse residents who make up our state and within that diversity are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. When we take the time to make room in the labor movement for all workers, we improve our ability to serve the wide diversity of residents across the state. Inclusion, recognition, and respect are hallmarks of the labor movement that align with the values of Pride month. 

While labor is not without its own moments of shame in the past, we are thankful for the activists who insisted that workers’ rights and LGBTQIA+ rights go hand in hand to make the United States a better place. Historically, activists such as Leslie Feinberg, Harvey Milk, and Irene Soloway worked to make sure we would never separate gay rights from workers’ rights and forced labor to expand its definition of family. Today, their work lives on in the activism of labor activists all over the country with intersectional identities fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights and workers’ rights. The current intersectional organizing is a key pillar in the revitalization of the labor movement in the 21st century. 

Kenya Campbell, President AFT Maryland

As labor activists, we know there’s always more work to do. However, the work that we have done and continue to do, signals the promise and potential of the labor movement and our country. There’s space enough for all of us to live meaningful, dignified lives at work, at home, and in our communities, and we will continue to advocate until that becomes a reality for our entire labor family. 


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