As LGBTQ+ people around the world prepare for the much-anticipated commemoration, celebration, and fellowship of Pride season, we will inevitably see images of racial equity and justice fade away, to be replaced with rainbows and other symbols of gender and sexual equality.
There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. More than ever, it is important to celebrate and honor our resilience as a community, even as we reflect on the huge losses so many of us have faced in the past year.
But on the heels of the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, it is critical that we also remember that Black Lives Matter during Pride, too.
The legacies of brutal policing, racial discrimination, and civic disenfranchisement that Black people in the U.S. and around the world have endured for centuries don’t take a break for Pride month. In fact, it is important to remember that for a great many people in our community, there isn’t the luxury of choosing one or the other. For many Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ+ community, Pride month can be a double-edged sword, a reminder that our movement is too often dominated by white, cis, gay men, at the expense of marginalized and under-represented voices.
Let’s not forget, it was a person of color who threw the first brick at Stonewall.
Pride offers an opportunity for all of us to explore the vast and varied intersectional identities of our LGBTQ+ community. It’s not black or white, us versus them. We all represent multiple strands of one larger struggle. Let us heed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wisdom that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
None of us is free until all of us are free.
At the Leonard-Litz Foundation, Racial Justice is core to our mission of helping LGBTQ+ people fulfill their potential.
When we say Black Lives Matter, we mean All Black Lives Matter—including queer and transgender lives, and including during Pride month.
Happy Pride, from all of us, to all of you.