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Pride Reflections

Pride lives in the present moment. It draws breath through whole-hearted people, here and now, celebrating the joy of love, and the freedom to do so without fear.

I want to take a step beyond the present moment of Pride and honor the struggles of those who led us here in their daring willingness to imagine an impossible future.

L’dor’v’dor (from generation to generation). I pass it on. I can imagine a future in which the freedoms I have as a white-passing queer woman surrounded by a community who accepts me are the norm. A future in which inclusive and safe workplaces like the Jewish Federation are standard. A future in which the brutal attacks on the rights and lives of trans and gender non-conforming people, particularly People of Color, have given way to a reality in which fear, and hatred melt into acceptance, even compassion. A future in which gender and sexual diversity open the door for every person to explore the multitudes within them, free of judgement, and released from the binds of other’s expectations.

I am fortunate in my career with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta to be able to work toward a regenerative future. Through my role on the Atlanta Jewish Foundation team, I get to help re-imagine what a community-wide support system can look like, and to serve those doing the work to realize this vision.

I want to be clear that though my instinct is to express a positive and hopeful outlook, I am absolutely terrified for the future. The right for trans people to simply exist in the world, let alone thrive, is under legal attack, as are the rights to bodily autonomy for anyone with a uterus. I lead with hopefulness and positivity, but I am also angry and afraid.

What gives me hope is parents raising children to understand and respect consent at an early age. I find hope in children who have no issue accepting gender and sexual diversity, because they were never taught the restrictive narratives to begin with that we are as a society are having to claw our way out of. Change and transformation are core tenants of nature. As queer activist, poet, and comedian Alok Vaid Menon so beautifully puts it: “Nothing in this world is fixed. Everything is constantly moving. And that’s the vibrancy and the joy of being alive.”

L’dor’v’dor. I cannot wait to learn from future generations.

Kaylin B.
Foundation Operations Manager

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