This Pride month, it’s difficult not to be overwhelmed by the state of tragedy the world seems to be stuck in. What began as a decade defined by jokes about perfect vision and the roaring twenties quickly shifted to resemble a dystopian society that closely follows the plot of the movie Contagion, with the public trapped at home and unemployment on the rise as the US frantically rushed to respond to a new virus. Just as America slowly began to come out of lockdown, the country was uprooted again by the tragic loss of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, whose absences today are the result of a police force designed to protect white lives and property at any cost.
This Pride month, I feel conflicted between my white privilege and queer identity. To me, the month of June represents a time of recognition and celebration by and for members of my community, as well as an acknowledgment that, even if my identity isn’t accepted by my family, I am accepted by my community. Yet as I watch nationwide riots capture news coverage and scroll through an endless feed of black tiles on Instagram, I am reminded of my privilege even within the LGBTQ+ community. As someone who is feminine-presenting, my identity is visible to others at my discretion. I can pick and choose who I feel safe sharing it with, and face minimal oppression because of it. I can largely choose not to share my identity with potential employers, classmates or strangers walking on the street. George and Ahmaud did not have this choice. They could not hide their identities as Black people, and their deaths represent only the tip of the iceberg of racism in the United States.
This June, the LGBTQ+ community should take a step back, especially before rushing to buy out H&M and Nike’s new pride collections. This is especially true for members of the LGBTQ+ community who have race, class or other privilege. Though the fight for LGBTQ rights and equality is always important, now is the time to prioritize people of color, especially Black people, in the LGBTQ+ community, until sufficient changes are made in the current law enforcement system. Even as we mourn the loss of in-person pride parades and celebrations, we must support and consider the needs of other minority communities in the fight to end injustice. Just as the Stonewall Riots acted as a turning point for LGBTQ+ people 50 years ago, the protests and riots today can serve as an important point of progress for Black people across the country and the world.
Instead of buying new rainbow socks and t-shirts, consider donating those funds to organizations that support Black people and people of color in these trying times, and swap #PRIDE on your posts for #BLACKLIVESMATTER.
Below is a list of organizations that help support Black LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ people of color throughout nationwide unrest. If you experience class privilege, please consider donating. If not, consider posting or sharing this article or the links below.
The Trevor Project supports LGBTQ+ youth. Their most recent work has focused on Black LGBTQ+ youth. Click here to donate.
Urgent Action Funds provides funding for women and non-binary human rights activists. Click here to donate.
Center for Black Equity connects queer Black people with resources and education. Click here to donate.
The Okra Project provides healthy, culturally specific meals for Black trans people. Click here to donate.
Emergency Release Fund provides bail funds to trans people who have been incarcerated during COVID-19. Click here to donate.
True Colors United supports homeless LGBTQ+ youth and provides resources to LGBTQ+ youth during COVID-19. Click here to donate.
National Police Accountability Project works to educate the public about police misconduct and supports legislative efforts in increasing police accountability. Click here to donate.
House of GG creates programs and provides resources for transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender-questioning people, particularly people of color. Click here to donate.
Black Visions Collective provides resources to Black queer people and works to eliminate violence in Black communities. Click here to donate.
Freedom Fund provides bail funds to LGBTQ+ people in jail or immigration centers. Click here to donate.
American Civil Liberties Union works to protect voting and healthcare rights, and has partnered with the ACLU Minnesota to ensure justice for George Floyd. Click here to donate.
Know Your Rights Camp provides legal resources to people of color and protestors. Click here to donate.
Contact Stephanie Gady at sgady ‘at’ stanford.edu.
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