Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Image by Leonard Fink.

For Pride 2020, We Must Join Together to Condemn White Supremacy. The First Pride was a Riot, After All.

This week marks the beginning of Pride month. Most years, white queer voices dominate the conversation. As I write this post, I am already seeing signs of that beginning to happen again. We must make 2020 the year that we break this pattern.⁣⁣⁣

My fellow white and non-Black queer folx, I implore you – I am begging you – please decenter yourselves in conversations about Pride right now. Celebrating Pride is not specific to this moment – you can celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride any day of the year. But if you look outside and at the TV, you’ll see what IS happening right now — what NEEDS to happen right now. And we need to continue to focus on that rather than turning the focus toward ourselves. 

did you know that the first pride was a riot?

As you consider your place in supporting the current protests, please remember that the first Pride was a riot, built largely upon the labor of trans women of color. Supporting protests and equality is what Pride is all about.

Marsha P Johnson, a black transgender woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a latinx trans woman, march in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade (the predecessor to Pride).
Image by Leonard Fink.

As white people, queer folx, and as human beings, it is our duty to sit and listen to black folks and do anything in our power to support them, during and beyond the current demonstrations. De-centering yourself & whiteness means sharing content from Black creators, but it also means examining your presence on social media and whether you are supporting Black folx or simply adding white noise into the void.

As some of you know, I had initially been planning to launch my podcast this month. In an effort to avoid pulling focus from the Black Lives Matter movement, I am postponing this launch indefinitely.

Instead, I have pivoted my social media platforms (especially my personal Instagram) to focus on amplifying the voices of BIPOC, sharing necessary resources, and holding myself and others accountable for the ways in which we contribute to upholding racism and white supremacy.

I encourage you all to examine your role in supporting this vital movement and work each day to do better than the day before.

As white folx, our silence is complacency; sitting back and doing nothing while there are so many lives on the line makes us complicit in white supremacy and the epidemic of police violence against Black communities. 

We cannot afford to be complacent.

To an anti-racist, inclusive future,

Arielle Rebekah

Outlined below are a number of actions that I have taken to help support the fight against white supremacy and police brutality. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I encourage each of you to continue using social media (among other routes) as a tool for finding resources.

In order to add more BIPOC voices to your Instagram feed, I encourage you to follow these individuals:

And these organizations:

Consider donating to non-profit orgs fighting for racial justice, such as:

  • Any of the bail funds or non-profits in this super extensive linktree (***I did not create this list. Also included are links to pre-written e-mail templates to demand justice for Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade.)

Please check with your employer to see if they match donations! Starbucks matches any donations above $20 to any 501c3 (US) or Charity (Canada), as do many other employers.

In an effort to denounce racism and those who seek to benefit from it, I encourage you to unfollow:

  • Shaun King (follow link to see why!)
  • Anybody you know who is unwilling to confront their own racism

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