towards thriving header

June 30, 2022

PRIDE: Invitation for Deeper Solidarity (Part 3/3)

"pride" in white text (with rainbow layers behind it) over a maroon background

Confronting Pride is ugly.

Do not sterilize Pride with happy celebrations of a veiled history, though – our liberation depends on it.

Not even two weeks after the Uvalde school shooting, Texas Representative Bryan Slaton could have moved to pass the legislation that would protect Texas students. Instead, he introduced a bill to ban youth from attending drag shows in an effort to allegedly protect children from “perverted adults [who] are obsessed with sexualizing young children.” He said, “As a father of two young children, I would ever take my children to a drag show…and my colleagues wouldn’t either”. 

Please do not mistake this action or statement as something that’s separate from the recent hateful bills introduced by legislators to prevent Trans youth from participating in sports or utilizing bathrooms or seeking facilities that best correspond with their identities. These aren’t events in a silo or singular instances. These are a culmination of histories that deliberately police and exclude Queer and Trans folks.

I know this to be true.

Our homophobic & transphobic systems are not broken; they do precisely what they are designed to do. And they have since these systems were created.

It is necessary for us to study our history to better understand how we got here, then to change the trajectory of the world we live through:

Our society & culture weren’t always this way.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Moving forward, there is a way for all of us to be given our fullest humanity and thrive and be safe from targeted attacks on our identities.

Queer, Trans, and Intersex people are not a recent invention of humanity; we have been here from the beginning of time – and we weren’t always dehumanized or oppressed or targeted like we are now.

For most of human history,  Queer, Trans and Intersex people (or the people who we would now recognize as Queer/Trans/Intersex) were welcomed into kinship models & cherished for their individuality. Some anthropological hypotheses claim homosexuality was fundamentally critical to homo sapien survival because queer homo sapiens contributed to the survival of a relative’s offspring by being a source of additional resources: materially, emotionally, and beyond. Our capacity for mutualism advanced the development of “civilization.” Queer people were, and can again be, widely regarded as crucial facets of our society & culture.

Many Indigenous communities have traditionally respected & revered Queer/Trans/Intersex and 2Spirit people as the divine. Many groups of people have recognized multiple genders & sexualities (reflected in the deities of worship) pre-colonization. Trans and Intersex and 2Spirit people were, and can again be, widely regarded as people deserving of praise, honor, and celebration.

I also think that many people would find it surprising to learn that “heterosexuality” was used to describe the pathologized sexual behaviors that weren’t intended for procreation. “Heterosexuality” was initially defined as an “abnormal or perverted appetite towards the opposite sex” and a “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” In the 19th century, Puritanical culture was hyper-focused on establishing civility and the “natural” order of the world, so the invention of heterosexuality took place to control & police people’s behaviors. Sex that was not for procreation became taboo. However, the newly-coined term “heterosexuality” wasn’t adopted & accepted by scholars or the general public until its binary pair was constructed: homosexuality. This binary concept was created in 1869. 

[Michele Foucault, Power/Knowledge, and History of Sexuality] 

After our Industrialization Era, heterosexuality was reinforced to create more subjects for labor. This reduced heterosexuality’s pathology and taboo. It became accepted & used as a standard for compliance. At the same time, homosexuality became pathologized because it didn’t produce human capital for labor and served no proper function in making wealth. The existence of effeminate men and masculine women threatened the hegemony of heterosexuality. Queerness also questioned religious “purity” & wealth creation for the ruling class. People who refused to comply with toxic gender norms were subject to state-sanctioned violence: imprisonment & institutionalization. Violence against Queer and Trans people became more & more normalized since Industrialization.

State-sanctioned violence was integrated into the study of medicine & psychology. Homosexuality remained in psychologists’ Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) until 1973, when it was declassified as a mental disorder. It was demoted, yet it remained in the DSM as a significant cause of mental distress. Not until 2013, in the DSM5, was homosexuality removed entirely from the manual. 


“But D, what does this have to do with banning drag queens in Texas and gender violence advocacy?” you ask.



History – and I mean “history” as what our people have truly done throughout time, not the veiled history that is watered-down, whitewashed, and given to us like piecemeal – shows us:

Queer/Trans/Intersex people have been core to human advancement & society, living with wholeness & without stigma until: colonization, the spread of constructed purity standards, and the contemporary lawmaking that legislators use to try re-writing sexuality & gender away from our society & culture.  

The toxic (and relatively new) narrative that Queer & Trans people are sexually perverse or threatening to the future of humanity by morally corrupting children is a narrative that doesn’t allow us to A) be real about our history, which in turn makes us powerless in our present & future, and b) to return back – or to forge a new path – to a world where all of us are benefited by the many contributions of Queer, Trans humanity or thriving or safety.

Queer & Trans people deserve to be authentically empowered; Queer & Trans people deserve to live lives through a world that honors who they are & how they show up. We deserve these things now, and we know that because we have been deserving these things. We deserve these things now, and we know that because used to be inherently granted these things like our cis, straight counterparts are now.

Urgency is a pillar of white supremacy, but goddamn, I hope all of this is rectified & I hope justice prevails soon. This is not our legacy, this is not the way our story ends, and this is not going to get any better if we aren’t connecting the dots with accountability or action.

We must reclaim Pride Month from hollow celebrations & continued erasures of our roots.

My beloved Queer, Trans, Intersex, and 2Spirit siblings depend on this. I depend on this. Those who came before us, and those who come after us, depend on this.

You can not truly have your wholeness or reach your highest potential or end violence without us. 


With bitter and resentful Pride, 



Written by D, a visionary changemaker & caretaker who works with the Idaho Coalition as a Bilingual Social Change Associate. If you’d like to read Part 1 of this series, please check out our “Past eNewsletters” section to the right on this page.

If you’d like to get in contact with D, their email is & their specialities include: Community Organizing, Internal Development, and Youth Engagement.

Abortion Rights Are Survivor Rights

a Black person yelling into a megaphone & holding a fist above their head; outlined in a maroon bubbleSurvivors deserve access to health care options without fearing punishment. Survivors deserve to have informed control of their reproductive health options without facing retribution for their rights.

The Idaho Coalition believes abortion rights are survivor rights, and we amplify what is said by our comrades at the Washington State Coalition (amongst many other comrades across the nation):

Survivors are safest when they have the freedom to write their own futures.

As we continue our advocacy for survivor rights, and thus abortion rights, we also want to amplify that abortion bans acutely impact minoritized communities – especially Black, Indigenous, and Brown people and Queer & Trans people. We know that there’s an immeasurable amount of people who are impacted by the recent abortion regulations, and we also know that abortion bans combine brutally with:

medical racism & transphobia,  income inequity & wealth gaps,  and red tape in health care that excludes minoritized peoples.

To provide more support to the survivors we serve, especially those who are navigating the new abortion regulations at the frontlines of this issue, remember:

Black women & gender-expansive people have, are, and always will be at the vanguard of reproductive justice.  -BlackWomenRadicals

Black, Indigenous, and Brown people femmes & Trans people have been gathering resources on reproductive justice for decades – if not generations – and passing cultural practices around womb care since time immemorial. Join, support, and learn. Do not re-invent, then demand participation from minoritized people because you don’t want to be led or informed by their work or experiences.  -tai simpson, our acting Co-Director

It’s important to use accurate & affirming language (like “pregnant people” rather than “women”). It’s not just about inclusion. It’s simply factual.  -TransLawCenter

3 Ways to Help Idaho Survivors

an image of someone typing & a search engine symbol over the photograph; outlined in a soft red bubble

The Idaho Coalition is actively working to provide more tools, resources, and direct support for our Member Programs & advocates across the state.

We know that there are amazing people who are doing amazing work for survivors. We strive to offer help to survivors by sharing 3 options we can share with you as you work to help survivors:

  1. Technical Assistance for Youth – If you are interested in requesting assistance for the prevention & response of teen dating violence, you can schedule a meeting with our Social Change Associate, D. Click here to schedule a meeting with them.
  2. HHS ARP Rental Assistance Funds – If you know a survivor who needs support with: costs of rental assistance, hotel, motel, utilities, and nominal moving costs for domestic violence survivors and their children as they recover and stabilize from COVID-19, please message our Program Specialist, Lacey. Click here to email her. 
  3. SASP Emergency Funds – If you need help in getting a survivor: counseling, medical assistance, rental or employment assistance, civil legal assistance or other approved expenses related to the victimization (i.e. items/services/etc. which may support survivors of sexual violence while recovering from an assault) and financial support directly related to healing, please contact our Program Specialist, Lacey. Click here to email her. 

Our staff, our skill sets, our networks, and our resources are available to Member Programs & advocates who work to end gender-based violence. We hope to share a longer & wider list – developed by & for communities across the state – to share the many other ways that the Idaho Coalition could potentially leverage its resources to support Idaho’s changemakers & caretakers.

While we create this list of offerings, we hope these 3 resources can help you as you help survivors. We are eager to share a more comprehensive list of our supportive resources with you all soon!

Training & Events

a black & white icon of a calendarRhythms of a Menace | June 30

Today from 4:00-6:00 PM, there is a free online space to learn more about the pillars & history of reproductive justice. This space is created so our next generation of advocates can deepen their understanding of past & present movements. It’s crafted to support, guide, teach, and encourage participants to challenge the status quo and bring us closer to reproductive freedom.

We know that this training is one of many opportunities that young people have to lay new foundations in our reproductive revolution. To learn more about this digital space, click here.

a black & white icon of a party hornLatinx Pride Fest | information removed on June 30th

Since learning about this space & sharing it across our newsletter platform, we came to learn that this event is co-organized by a political entity. As a nonprofit, we cannot share more information due to these political ties. We apologize for any confusion or issues stemming from this update.

For the aforementioned reasons, we have removed all details & further information about this space. For transparency & accountability, we will leave this note up on our Towards Thriving page.

a black & white icon of a piece of paperQueer & Now: Pride Month Toolkit | advocacy resource

Advocates for Youth created a true rainbow of resources for Pride Month, including:

Actions to take this month to support Queer & Trans youth, movies & documentaries to watch (with a particular focus on positive portrayals), LGBTQ-themed podcasts, suggested social media to share, resources/stats/etc.

Check out the Queer & Now toolkit for this month, and every month, here.

a black & white icon of a closed signIdaho Coalition – Office Closure | August 8-12

Our team will not be working this week.

We invite you to help us honor our time away so we’re best able to show up for ourselves, our shared work, and our beloved communities.

Note: We changed this week-long closure from July to August.

a black & white icon of a calendar2022 Idaho Indian Education Summit | August 15-16

This conference is taking place on the Boise State University campus. Strands of this summit include: policy, educator preparation programs, land acknowledgements, memorandums of understanding, tribal sovereignty, government to government relationships, educational engagement, and more. 

Save the date to advance the future! For more information about this summit, email Johanna J. Jones or Patty Sanchez.

a black & white icon of a calendar17th Annual #DVCounts Survey Day | September 17

We’re excited to gear up for the next DV Counts season because this survey reports the number of people who sought services in a single 24-hour period, as well as the types of services requested, the number of service requests that went unmet due to a lack of resources, and the issues & barriers that domestic violence programs face as they strive to provide services to victims of domestic violence.

Please save the date for the 17th Annual DV Counts Survey Day & don’t hesitate to reach out to the NNEDV DV Counts team with any questions in the meantime.

Idaho Coalition Store Materials

a graphic of three people in front of a maroon background, under white text reading "store materials"

Reminder: Shipping for all materials on our website store is FREE for Programs. Please use the coupon below for all orders.

Visit the online store for the Idaho Coalition to check out what materials are available for order.

For store questions, please contact us.

Coupon Code