Our Collective Voice Matters
By Lanz Nalagan, Sacramento LGBT Community Center
“No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” – Marsha P. Johnson
Although we are at the beginning of Pride month, there is very little to feel proud about.The quote above by Marsha P. Johnson is a reminder that although the queer community has overcome discrimination in many ways, there are still other marginalized communities that continue to battle with the hands of their oppressors.
The violence against the Black community must end. The crimes against George Floyd, Ahmud Abery, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Jae O’Regan, Tony McDade, and so many others—even the arrest of a CNN reporter live on the air are appalling. The LGBTQ+ community are no strangers to the impact of these types of events and systemic oppression is all too familiar for our community.
As we are at the beginning of Pride month, we must remember that Pride was a riot. Fifty-one years ago, instead of running, a crowd led by Black and brown trans folks and drag queens fought back against the police harassment and persecution to which the LGBTQ community was commonly subjected. Six nights of rioting followed and sparked a civil rights movement to replace public shame and criminalization with collective pride.
Our community has faced brutal repression and injustice in the past, and we have survived, in part, by the kindness and care we have shown to one another. We should all be especially kind, understanding, and caring to each other in the coming days.
The Center has worked with leaders from LGBT organizations around the country to circulate and published an open letter condemning racist violence. There are some of the actions that you can take part in now:
- Donate to a BAIL FUND in your area or around the country
- Donate MEDICAL SUPPLIES to people working as medics at the protests
- FEED PEOPLE – buy food and water, or make food, and donate it to those who are part of or affected by the protests
- VOLUNTEER at non-hot zone areas to supply food and water
- Continue to EDUCATE the people around you – this is also emotional labor
- PICK UP people from the hot-zone if they need it
- Offer to WATCH KIDS if their parents are organizers and need to be on the frontline
- CONFRONT RACISM wherever you see it, online and with family/friends
- SHARE LINKS to every resource for protestors you can find – bail funds, information for those arrested, safety precautions, updates for those in your area, etc
- DONATE directly to frontline people and organizations
- WRITE articles and blog posts in support of the ongoing protests
- ORGANIZE on your jobs and in your communities for fair and equitable practices
- REST is revolutionary and inherently anti-capitalist too, so do your best to rest when you can, and take care of yourself and those around you as much as possible.
As the LGBTQ community stood up in 1969, it is incumbent on us to stand with the Black community now. When unarmed Black lives are taken in violence and people exercise their Constitutional right to protest, it is painful to see the disparity in treatment of protesters. When tear gas and rubber bullets are used against Black protesters across America, while white protesters storm government buildings with impunity, we see that all lives are not treated equally.
The Center calls on all of us in the LGBTQ community and our allies to act together and fight for an end to systemic oppression and inequity that has a devastating impact on the most marginalized in our community.
Our collective voice matters. Black Lives Matter.