June marks the 51st annual Pride Month, a celebration of LGBTQ+ life and livelihood. It’s a time to amplify the voices of those who are marginalized and disenfranchised by daily discrimination, dehumanization, and defamation, simply for existing loudly in a world that tries to keep us quiet.
But there is no space to celebrate when members of our community are being attacked, brutalized, and murdered at the hands of white supremacy, racist government inaction, and police violence.
Pride is not a celebration this year. Pride is anger. Pride is frustration. Pride is fury. Pride is channeling those emotions into action and solidarity. Pride is (and has always been) a protest. Pride is taking a stand to combat violence against transgender women of color like Nina Pop in Missouri. Pride is taking a knee against police brutality, like the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And the murder of Eric Garner in New York City. And Ezell Ford in Los Angeles. And Michelle Cusseaux in Phoenix. And Tanisha Anderson in Madison County. And Tamir Rice in Cleveland. And Natasha McKenna in Fairfax. And Walter Scott in Charleston. And Bettie Jones in Chicago. And Philando Castile in Falcon Heights. And Botham Jean in Dallas. And Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth. And Eric Reason in Richmond. And Dominique Clayton in Oxford. And Breonna Taylor in Louisville. And Tony McDade in Tallahassee.
We cannot acknowledge Pride Month without standing up for those in our community who are impacted by the brunt of systemic racism in America.
White supremacy and racist policing are embedded into the history of Pride. The LGBTQ+ rights movement started when transgender and queer women of color fought on the frontlines against the police raiding of the Stonewall Inn in 1969 — the first celebration of Pride was on the backs of POC. And it continues to be.
We are angry. We are deeply sad. And we won’t let fear-mongering and hate prevent us from showing up and out for our community. We won’t let the threats of our racist Commander-In-Chief scare us into submission. We stand with all those protesting across America and worldwide, as we fight against our racist police, prison, and immigration systems.
The Lesbians Who Tech & Allies is team is shifting its (Not IRL) Pride Summit focus to address racism, solidarity, and amplifying Black voices within the LGBTQ+ community. This is the purpose of Pride this year. And in years to come.
We stand with you today, across the country, adding our collective voices to the millions of those with the courage to stand in the streets and demand social change. We see you. We thank you. We are you.
Below we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you to continue showing up, and take space for yourself. We realize that this time is affecting everyone differently, so please take care of yourself, whether that’s calling a friend, taking a walk in nature, or taking advantage of the mental health resources below. Companies might also be wondering how they can support their employees right now. We encourage leaders to amplify Black voices, make space for Black employees, and donate to advocacy organizations if they can. Please take advantage of these support systems, and continue to stay safe.
The Lesbians Who Tech & Allies team