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Celebrating Diversity: Pride Month, Disability, and the Mission of The Arc Minnesota

Celebrating Pride and Diversity 

June is Pride Month! A time dedicated to uplifting and amplifying the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual individuals, and others) community. Throughout June various events, parades, marches, and initiatives will take place.  

Pride month seeks to promote equal rights and create a more inclusive society for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Pride also provides space to reflect on the ways in which our identities intersect and shape our own unique experiences.  

It’s a reminder that our identities are complex. 

Our Mission at The Arc Minnesota 

At The Arc Minnesota, our mission is to promote and protect the human rights of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), actively supporting them and their families in a lifetime of full inclusion and participation in their communities.  

An essential part of this mission is acknowledging the intersectionality that exists within our communities. For many, their identity is not just shaped by their disability, but also by their:  

  • sexual orientation,  
  • gender identity,  
  • race,  
  • ethnicity, 
  • And more! 

Intersectionality: LGBTQ+ and IDD 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in four adults in the U.S. has some type of disability. Additionally, about 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability, and over 1 million adults in the country live with some form of developmental disability. 

According to the Movement Advancement Project, LGBT people with disabilities often face significant challenges including: 

  • Healthcare Disparities: People with IDD frequently experience difficulties in accessing appropriate and inclusive healthcare.  
  • Invisibility and Isolation: Stigma around both IDD and LGBTQIA+ identities can lead to isolation from support networks. 
  • Double Discrimination: When someone experiences bias because of both disability and their LGBTQIA+ identity, they may experience double discrimination. 
  • Lack of Inclusive Services and Resources: There’s a lack of services and resources that address the specific needs of people with IDD who also identify as LGBTQIA+. 
  • Violence and Abuse: People with disabilities, including IDD, are at a higher risk of experiencing violence and abuse. This risk increases for those who also identify as LGBTQIA+. 

Our Commitment to Inclusion 

The Arc Minnesota is committed to fostering an environment where everyone, regardless of their identities, feels valued, respected, and has equal access to opportunities. We believe that understanding intersectionality is key to achieving this goal. In doing so, we can create more inclusive programs, policies, and practices that truly reflect the diverse experiences of all Minnesotans! 

As we celebrate Pride Month, we also acknowledge that the fight for equality isn’t limited to a single month. It’s a year-round commitment. We carry this commitment with us in our pursuit of justice for ALL Minnesotans. Together, we can move forward towards a more inclusive future. 

Happy PRIDE! 

Here are some great resources on Pride Month: