People gathered outside the Pride Center of Vermont to support the LGBTQ+ community on International Day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. On this day in 1990, the World Health Organization took the step of declassifying homosexuality as a mental disorder.

“So that was not long ago and when we are talking about historical memory, that was yesterday so we are very new in having rights,” said Kim Jordan, Director of the Safe Space Anti-Violence Program. “We are very new in having rights to love who we want and marry who we want.”

Jordan says progress has been made since but they still continue to see hate and violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community, including the killing of Fern Feather last month, as well as a violent act of vandalism at their very office. “One rock won’t stop a whole movement nor will laws that tell us we are not allowed to exist,” said Jordan. “We are here and queer, get used to it, as the saying goes.”

The co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s was in attendance Tuesday along with Indi Schoenherr, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont. “My gender identity is sacred and has helped me access joy and authenticity in my life, so witnessing the national and local level of attacks on transgender people is disruptive and painful,” said Schoenherr.

Some community members continue to show support for the Pride Center. The hearts outside the center were put there anonymously and say ‘We Support Pride’ and ‘We Choose Love’. Jordan says they will always respond with love. “This is a fight worth fighting for.”