Each February, we honor Black History Month — an event celebrated every year since 1976, when President Gerald Ford called for Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
At GWK, we take the opportunity to highlight what Black History Month means to the Black gay, bi and trans dads in our community — and those raising Black children. And we detail the many ways families choose to celebrate the holiday.
But if the events of the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the sentiment behind this month — honoring the history and contributions of Black people to our country — needs to be a yearlong endeavor, not just during the shortest month of the calendar.
This past year, we saw Black communities impacted disproportionately by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, who continue to die at a rate of roughly three times that of white people. Vaccines now offer a glimmer of hope, yet Black people are also receiving shots at a much lower rate than white people — due in part to unequal access, but also due to deep, understandable distrust in the pharmaceutical industry, caused by a history of racist experimentation.
This past summer, racial justice protests swept the country — brought on by a long over due reckoning of police harassment and mistreatment of Black people, and communities of color, in the country. That this movement reached its apex in June, typically celebrated as Pride Month, was fitting — it forced a recognition that the most marginalized members of our community — queer, trans and gender nonconforming people of color — also face disproportionately higher rates of violence, discrimination, harassment and death than white cis-gender queer people.
This Black History Month, GWK will be bringing you stories and videos, as we always do, celebrating the contributions and histories of the Black members of our community. But we are committed to doing so all yearlong — while also recognizing that this, truly, it the very least we can do. We will properly honor our Black brothers and sisters only through proactive policies and solutions meant to better the lives of Black people and their families. Our community of gay, bi and trans dads — and dads to be — is committed to that fight.