June 2021 marks over two decades of celebrating LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit Pride Month in our state.
Yet we know Pride isn’t just about the parades, glitter, and festivals. Hear from Libby, ACLU of North Dakota campaigns director, on what Pride is to them.
Then share what Pride means to you online with #PrideIs or fill out the form below to share your story.
Libby has worked at the ACLU for more than seven years in various roles. She loves advocacy work and will tell anyone who will listen about the importance of local politics. When she’s not working, she spends her time reading, cooking, eating, and hanging out with her husband and their four pets.
Pride is ______. (Fill in the blank)
Pride is a practice, not a stationary moment in time. It’s ongoing, because that’s what it will take to create a world in which LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit folks can live freely. The month of June is the perfect time to reflect, celebrate, and get grounded in the community. It’s the time to refill your energy for the fights ahead by taking in the joy of people celebrating who they are.
How does working at the ACLU help you show your Pride year-round?
I’ve worked here for over seven years and I still sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am to be a part of this organization. I am so thankful that it is literally my job to help find ways to make our communities better. Legislative sessions are always the most emotionally exhausting part of the year as we continually face attacks on LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people and yet every year the community fights back with strength, vulnerability, and heart. I feel proud to play a small role in that and I am certain that one day all of these efforts will pay off and the legislative attacks will stop.
What is your go-to song that gets you ready to take action?
I’m going to be honest and tell you that it’s the entire Newsies soundtrack (and in particular, "Seize the Day" and "The World Will Know").
What do you have to say to politicians who support anti-LGBTQ+ legislation?
If you haven’t had a chance to meet with LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit constituents and truly listen to them, now’s the time. No one benefits from legislation that targets, discriminates, and oppresses people simply because of who they are.
What businesses do you see supporting Pride month that should be showing up outside of these 30 days to support queer folks year-round?
There are several local businesses in the area that show up not just for Pride month but also year-round for the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community and I am deeply grateful for them. For every other business that brings out rainbow gear but doesn’t actively work to support folks year round, please consider this a chance to get involved. When harmful legislation is sweeping through the legislature and you’re silent, we notice.
We need you to break that silence.
How can visibility in local government affect change in North Dakota?
This is huge! It’s not enough for elected officials to be responsive to the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community. We need LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit people who ARE elected officials to sit in the decision-making role.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
When you see or hear something harmful, speak up. Don’t let fear make you silent. And as you learn to use your voice, make sure you’re not speaking for people who are fully capable of speaking for themselves. Be open to learning, to correction, and to growth. Being in community with people is the only way to make lasting change.
Join Libby's work to make North Dakota better for everyone my taking the Pride Pledge today!