Pride and BLM supporters have come together to rally for social change
Ever since June 28, 1970, when the first pride parade was held in New York City, each year in June has marked a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. But this year, things are a little different. With the Black Lives Matter movement continuing to gain momentum in the wake of horrifically unjust murders of unarmed black men and women by police, both the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter activists have joined forces to elevate the voices of black LGBTQ+ individuals and bring attention to issues like discrimination, police brutality, and racism.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets this month
Individuals in countless cities and communities across the United States have taken to the streets to rally for black trans lives and the Black Lives Matter movement in place of the yearly iconic Pride parade celebrations. In particular, an emphasis on supporting black trans lives follows a decision by Donald Trump's administration that can allow health care providers to deny coverage for trans individuals. These ongoing protests also follow a crushing week in which two black trans women, Dominique Fells and Riah Milton, were found dead. LGBTQ+ communities, more than ever before, are speaking out against racism, systemic oppression, and police brutality, recognizing the intersection between queer identities and people of color.
Here's how you can get involved
If you're interested in helping to elevate the Black Lives Matter movement, and in particular the black LGBTQ+ community, during Pride month, there's a lot you can do to get involved, such as joining local marches, donating to organizations, and educating yourself on critical issues:
- Donate to black queer organizations. There are a ton of amazing black-led organizations out there that are bringing real change to their communities and across the nation. They could use your help not just now, but always. Some organizations to check out include LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund, The Transgender District, Anti-Violence Project, Black Trans Travel Fund, and TGI Justice Project.
- Read and watch more! Support black queer authors and buy books from black-owned bookstores. It's also recommended that you reflect on your own media consumption. For instance, how many articles have you read about black transgender women? What's more, watch documentaries, film, and television, like Disclosure, Paris is Burning, Moonlight, and Pose. Educate yourself about how marginalized groups, like black trans people, are discriminated against.
- Learn how to become an ally. Being a non-black ally means being able to listen to and read voices different from your own. Do the work to reprogram your own beliefs and use your privilege to elevate black voices.
- Connect with the queer people in your life. If you don't identify as LGBTQ+, reach out to your friends who identify as black, brown, queer, and transgender to talk about Pride. Engage in a discussion about the origins of Pride, or offer thoughts on recent news events affecting the LGBTQ+ and people of color communities.
- "17 Black-Led LGBTQ+ Services and Groups You Can Support Right Now," Marie Claire, June 11, 2020.
- "18 Photos Show How Pride and Black Lives Matter Supporters are Rallying Together for Change," Insider, June 16, 2020.
- "Want to Honor Pride Month? 5 Ways You Can Be an Ally to the Black LGBTQ+ Community," USA Today, June 17, 2020.