Three Carolinians — a longtime SC Pride leader, a Raleigh trans community leader and a North Carolina immigration activist — were recently honored for their work in the community by two major media groups. Their honors come as organizations, companies and publications all across the country are coming out to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month.
Moisés Serrano, an undocumented, queer immigrant who grew up in rural North Carolina, was honored in the “Logo30” list of LGBTQ leaders.
“Moises Serrano is ‘queer, undocumented, and unafraid,'” wrote Logo. “His work as an undocumented activist has raised awareness on immigration reform, especially in the ways that it interconnects with LGBT rights. Emigrating to the US with his parents when he was only 18 months old, the North Carolina native saw firsthand how undocumented individuals were treated in his community, and the disposibility moved him to want to create change.”
Serrano is the subject of the documentary film “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America,” which has aired at film festivals across the nation and was broadcast on Logo.
“If someone is inspired by Forbidden, get involved either on campus at your university or at a local church or a local organization fighting for immigrant rights,” Serrano told Logo. “The change that we need will not come, oftentimes, from national politics. It comes right from our own backyard.”
Logo is profiling an LGBTQ leader every day during June. You can watch their interview with Serrano online.
In South Carolina, longtime SC Pride President Jeff March was honored by USA Today in their “Faces of Pride” profile of 50 LGBTQ leaders from each of the 50 states.
USA Today highlighted March’s six years of service to SC Pride and noted the organization’s growth under his leadership. Last year, the event drew more than 75,000 people to Columbia, where Lil’ Kim headlined the main event.
“We were awarded marriage equality about a year before it became the law of the land,” March told the national publication. “I’m proud of little old South Carolina for that.”
But March’s work isn’t done, USA Today noted. March said his goal is to continue reaching out across South Carolina, including rural areas of the state.
“We just keep getting louder and stronger together,” he said.
USA Today also profiled Raleigh transgender leader Allison Scott, who came out as trans in 2015 — at the height of fevered debate over North Carolina’s anti-trans HB2.
Scott told USA Today that Pride Month means more than parties and parades.
“A lot of the world conjures an image of parades and LGBTQ people dancing and singing along to songs when they hear about pride,” Scott said. “What most of them don’t picture is the teenager whose parents have thrown them out because they came out or the trans woman of color killed because she walked out the door.”
Finding pride, she said, means “having the courage and self-conviction to walk down the street or school hallways while people tell you how their beliefs dictate that you as a person are morally offensive and shouldn’t be allowed to exist.”