Human Rights Campaign and over 100 LGBT+ organisations call for the queer community to unite against racism

Alphonso David, President of the HRC, shared, "I believe a better world is possible, and I know we will get there, together."

A smiling bald black man in a suit poses for a photo in an office

“Pride in our community means pride in our resilience – and our resistance,” – so said Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, in a message to celebrate the start of Pride month.

The Human Rights Campaign are leading the charge in calling for the LGBT+ community to unite against racism as protests and marches sweep the globe in support of #BlackLivesMatter and demanding justice for George Floyd who was killed by police brutality.

David’s powerful statement continued, “Pride started with protest. LGBTQ people – led in large part by transgender women of colour – resisted police brutality and violence at flash points like Stonewall, the Black Cat, and Compton’s Cafeteria. We as a community refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living as our true selves. Our community understands what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter.

“All these years later, Black people and the most marginalized across this nation are still facing brutality, are still facing injustice, are still facing  indifference. Yes, we have won major victories in expanding civil rights for historically marginalized groups. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?”

“This moment requires that we make explicit commitments and take action to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people. We know from the best legacies of our leaders then and now – the LGBTQ luminaries and the foot soldiers for justice – none of us will be free until all of us are free. 

“So as we celebrate Pride Month, let us carry the work forward with greater intentionality to affect change for all of us, not some of us. Because while we may not be able to celebrate Pride in person this year, there is nothing to stop us from taking action.

“I want you to be proud. I want you to be proud at work, at school, and in your communities. I want you to be proud at the ballot box. I want you to be proud – and loud – in demanding full equality, racial justice, gender justice, and the true liberation of all people. I want you to be proud of all the change that you have helped achieve and all the beauty and possibility that our community holds. 

“Because of you, I believe a better world is possible, and I know we will get there, together.”

Over 100 LGBT+ and civil rights organisations across the US released an open letter condemning racist violence. It read, “The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?

“Many of our organisations have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further — that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.”

“We, the undersigned, recognise we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.

“We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.”

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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