US LGBT+ Pride organisers are holding solidarity protests against racism and police brutality, honouring the event’s origins in which queer POC took a stand against institutionalised inequalities.
On Wednesday, producers of Los Angeles Pride, Christopher Street West, announced the group were planning a “solidarity protest march”. A released statement reads, “The CSW Board of Directors voted on the evening of June 1, 2020 to peacefully assemble a protest in solidarity with the Black community at Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave in Los Angeles, near the site where the first-ever permitted Pride Parade took place.”
President of CSW Board of Directors, Estevan Montemayor, shared, “Fifty years ago Christopher Street West took to the streets of Hollywood Blvd in order to peacefully protest against police brutality and oppression. It is our moral imperative to honour the legacy of Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who bravely led the Stonewall uprising, by standing in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism and joining the fight for meaningful and long-lasting reform.”
Together With Pride pic.twitter.com/7131G6FdAF
— LA Pride (@lapride) June 3, 2020
New York City Pride organisers told the Thomas Reuters Foundation that their main Pride event will go ahead as a television broadcast for June 28 and place greater emphasis on addressing racial inequality. The theme for this year’s festivities was announced as The Future Is.
— New York City Pride (@NYCPride) June 1, 2020
#TheFutureIs We are thrilled to share this year's theme and visual identity.
“The Future Is…” is inclusive of identity, ethnicity, age, body types, language and religious beliefs. The theme connects our storied past, milestones, and promising future. pic.twitter.com/ibkJvWPsMm
— New York City Pride (@NYCPride) February 12, 2020
In light of communities coming together to fight back against racism and police brutality, US LGBT+ Pride events will honour the legacy of proud black men, women, and non-binary people who paved the way for queer equality. A spokeswoman for the National LGBTQ Task Force, Cathay Renna said, “It’s more important than ever that those in our community who are also part of communities of colour have their voices lifted up.”
Executive Director of San Francisco Pride, Fred Lopez, shared the following message on Facebook, “Pride was born from a moment in which Black and brown trans folks had had enough and pushed back against a system that oppressed them. Pride, as we are all reminded today, began as an expression of anger, of frustration, of rage. Half a century later, we are seeing outrage on the streets of our nation — and we feel it, too.”
Lopez further wrote, “At SF Pride, our goal is to reflect the needs of our various LGBTQ+ communities. Achieving this goal is never easy. In fact, it’s usually complex. Our team will do our best to make a Pride 50 commemoration later this month that feels right. This year, we are putting even more focus on lifting up the voices of Black Queer people that have struggled since the first brick was thrown at Stonewall.”
President of LGBT+ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David stated, “Pride started as a protest against generations of police harassment and brutality. It is only fitting that this year’s Pride events echo the first Pride march and the protests … which were largely led by transgender people of color.”
— Seattle Pride (@OurSeattlePride) June 5, 2020
A day after LA Pride’s announcement, thousands gathered at the Stonewall Inn to protest in the names of Tony McDade, Nina Pop and all the other black trans people killed through transphobic crimes and police brutality. Activist Ianne Fields Stewart said at the demonstration, “Black trans women have given y’all culture. Have given y’all style. Have given y’all seasoning in your damn chicken! And for too long, we’re not here. You say you honour us. You say you uplift us. Then where the fuck are we?”
Black Pride Ireland shared their own message of solidarity.
Statement on the American events unfolding.
— Black Pride Ireland (@BlackPrideIre) June 5, 2020
Pride at its heart has always been a protest, a bold and proud declaration of presence and visibility speaking out against discrimination. The history behind this vibrant queer celebration speaks to the power of solidarity and must never forgotten.
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.