Anita Legacy Blue, president of the 2024 LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, writes that Pride Month presents an opportunity for the community and allies to support each other.

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When I was in my early years, my grandma used to call me “funny.” That was the word she used to try to understand why I didn’t act or dress like the other girls. As my life went on, I joined the Air National Guard, moved to Anchorage and I married a man trying to be someone I wasn’t. We divorced and I continued to struggle with my identity and in that struggle, I became pregnant and had my beautiful daughter.

It was only after moving back to Louisiana that I knew for sure I was a lesbian. There was limited opportunity for me there, so I moved to Texas with my daughter. It was there that I met my future wife and my life and happiness exploded. However, along the way, I’ve faced incredible trials and tribulations.

That is why you can’t imagine what it was like when I participated in my first Houston Pride parade. Instead of so many being against me, there were thousands and thousands of people cheering, singing and waving. They were there for me! They were there to say, “OK, Anita! We love you for being who you are!” You simply cannot imagine how much that meant, to have a sense of finally, really belonging.

A thank you to the industry

It means so much, all these years later, to see that same type of reception in real estate, especially as we kick off Pride Month. As the president of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the industry for being as supportive as you’ve been. In less than four years, we have more than 4,000 members and some of the biggest names in the industry as partners. 

Pride Month dates back more than 50 years to the one-year anniversary of the June 28,1969, historic Stonewall uprising in New York City’s Greenwich Village when New Yorkers held a “Christopher Street Liberation Day.” That was the start of June becoming the month for the LGBTQ+ community.

President Clinton declared in 1999 that June be known as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. Then, in 2011, President Obama expanded Pride Month to include the entirety of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Along the way, support for our community has grown dramatically, despite the current anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric spewing from a vocal minority. We now make up 7.6 percent of the U.S. population and more than 1 in 5 Gen-Z adults self-identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, according to Gallup

Attitudes toward LGBTQ people

I often think about two important nuggets from GLADD’s 2023 Accelerating Acceptance Report, where a professional research firm surveyed more than 2,500 American adults:

  • A 91 percent supermajority of non-LGBTQ Americans agree that LGBTQ people should have the freedom to live their lives and not be discriminated against.
  • 76 percent of non-LGBTQ adults are comfortable having a transgender person at their place of worship.

So what the heck is the problem? Why is the vocal minority being allowed to attack us and make us political pawns? Why are they allowed to pass laws to inflict suffering on us? Why are they allowed to marginalize our lives because of who we are?

Take a stand this Pride Month

Over this next month, the LGBTQ+ community and allies — including so many in the real estate industry — have a powerful opportunity to show up and show our nation that LGBTQ+ people are people.

I am urging my LGBTQ+ colleagues, whether you are in the Alliance or not, to show up this Pride season. Participate in your local events, and increase our strength in numbers. Let’s all work to empower the more than 20 percent of Gen Zers who self-identify. They are our future and need to know we’ve got their back.

And, if you are an ally, thank you! And a special thank you to the 23 percent of our Alliance members who are allies.

You may be an ally because your child, relative, friend or colleague is part of the LGBTQ+ community. Or you may just be one of the 91 percent of Americans who simply support that we should be free to live our lives as ourselves. In either case, I’m personally asking you to also show up. Bring your friends, family and colleagues to your local Pride events. There is nothing like them for joy and fun. Let’s get even more allies, because we need you.

From San Francisco to New York, there is a power in millions and millions showing up to support the LGBTQ+ community. It truly is an incredible way to fight back.

I also encourage you to participate in local real estate Pride events, whether it’s at your company, brand or association. And don’t forget to participate in the many Alliance events we’ve got this month.

As we do every year, the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance leads the real estate industry in recognizing our community’s continued fight for equality while honoring the strides we have made. We also continue our advocacy work and utilize the June Pride Month platform to educate LGBTQ+ real estate professionals and prospective homebuyers.

Along with our leadership team participating in dozens of industry events in June, and our Alliance chapter activity, here is a look at some of the activities we have planned for Pride Month:

We also have a Pride Month membership drive to welcome many more into the Alliance. You can use code “2024Pride50” when you join.

While it is hard to fathom that seemingly every day another state house, another politician or another rabble-rouser attacks the LGBTQ+ community, I try to focus on the fact that so many are in our corner. We know that our younger generations have welcomed higher acceptance levels to self-identify, which means more and more parents, siblings, families and friends are becoming allies.

The same holds true in the workplace as we meet and enjoy more LGBTQ+ colleagues. In fact, I doubt there is a real estate professional who does not already know, and likely love, someone who is an LGBTQ+ person.

This is why I believe we all have an opportunity to make our voices heard this June. Your support and participation mean so much.

Let’s make a difference. Happy Pride!

Anita Legacy Blue is the 2024 president of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.

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