This year, the beginning of Pride Month has seen much of the country deep in protests around the country demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other victims of racist police violence. But Pride and racial justice aren’t mutually exclusive: the first Pride was the Stonewall Riots in New York in 1969 led by Black and brown transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera against the backdrop of the civil-rights movement. Without this uprising, the fight for LGBTQ+ liberation may not have ignited.
There’s no Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us, which is why the Cut has pulled together a list of intersectional organizations and Pride events that focus on the struggles of Black Americans, especially within the queer community. (Coined by civil-rights activist and scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989, the term “intersectionality” describes when people experience oppression on multiple, “intersecting” fronts.)
Black trans people in particular need our support right now; despite progress in the fight for gay rights, they continue to suffer the potentially lethal consequences of racism and sexism. Nina Pop and Tony McDade are just two of the names in the despairingly long list of Black trans people who were victims of anti-Black, anti-trans violence — who either died at the hands at the hands of police, or whose deaths were largely ignored by police institutions.
With all this in mind, here are some ways to observe Pride month while helping the Black LGBTQ+ community.
Redirect Your Resources
Around the country, supporters of the protests have been making donations to both grassroots and national organizations that post bail for arrested protestors, offer resources, and uplift the Black community in meaningful ways. If you have the funds to spare, consider donating to organizations that specifically benefit Black LGBTQ+ people.
Normal programming for Pride has already been canceled due to the pandemic, so this is your opportunity to redirect the money you would’ve otherwise used to celebrate in support of Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations. Several suggestions:
• Black Visions Collective is a trans- and queer-led social-justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
• Transgender Law Center offers legal resources to advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people.
• Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative, SNaPCo, is an Atlanta-based group that provides community and financial support for Black trans and queer people in need and works to dismantle the prison industrial complex.
• The Marsha P. Johnson Institute’s mission is to protect and defend the human rights of Black transgender people.
• The National Center for Black Equity connects members of the Black LGBTQ+ community with information and resources to empower their fight for equity and access.
• LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund posts bail to secure the safety and liberty of people in jail and immigration detention.
• Incite! is a national activist organization of trans and gender nonconforming people of color working to end violence against individuals and communities through direct action, dialogue, and grassroots organizing.
• Black AIDS Institute works to end the Black HIV epidemic through policy, advocacy, and high-quality direct HIV services.
• For the Gworls raises money to assist wtih Black trans people’s rent & affirmative surgeries.
• Black Transmen is a nonprofit organization focused on social advocacy and empowering trans men with resources to aid in a healthy transition.
• Black Trans Femmes in the Arts connects the community of Black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts to build power.
• The Okra Project addresses the global crisis faced by Black trans people by bringing them home-cooked meals and resources.
• The National Black Justice Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black LGBTQ+ people.
• Trans Women of Color Collective, a grass-roots funded global initiative, uplifts the narratives and experiences of trans people of color and offers them opportunities.
• House of GG creates safe and transformative spaces where members of the community can heal from generational trauma, primarily focusing on trans women of color in the South.
• Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led funding initiative that support grassroots trans justice groups run by-and-for trans people.
• Black Queer & Intersectional Collective, a grassroots community organization, works toward liberation through direct action, community organizing, education, and creating spaces to uplift voices.
• The Transgender District aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces in San Francisco.
• Brave Space Alliance is a trans-led center dedicated to creating and providing resources, programming, and services for LGBTQ+ individuals in Chicago.
• BreakOUT! seeks to end the criminalization of LGBTQ+ youth to build a safer and more just New Orleans.
• Lavender Rights Project provides low-cost civil legal services and community programming for trans and queer low-income people in the state of Washington.
Show Up for the Community
If you’re up for it, you can still show up for your community and your loved ones (while taking necessary safety precautions due to increased police aggression and the threat of coronavirus transmission). Social media is the best place to keep updated on protests happening near you since many aren’t planned far in advance. For New Yorkers, @JusticeForGeorgeNYC is a centralized resource on protests and vigils. For those around the country, a beneficial place to start is this user-based map and Rally List.
Participate in a Virtual Event
There are other ways to show your support even if you can’t be on the frontlines. Pride-specific events are pivoting to raise awareness and funds in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. This list will be updated.
• Bushwig, a Brooklyn-based festival of drag and queer performance, is organizing a global virtual festival in aid of several Black Lives Matter groups on June 27 and 28.
• NYC Pride and GLAAD are replacing their Drag Fest with Black Queer Town Hall to center Black queer voices. The 3-day virtual event, led by drag performers Peppermint, Bob the Drag Queen, and Marti Gould Cummings alongside The Only Productions, will support and raise funds for Black, queer organizations and LGBTQ+ performers, as well as feature diverse voices to discuss ways to dismantle racism and white supremacy and demand an end to police brutality.
• The Rally continues the tradition of the first Pride Rally that occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots where the community gathered for a demonstration in Washington Square Park, followed by a candlelight vigil in Sheridan Square. This year’s calls for the community to rally together to take a stand against police brutality and discrimination. Register before the the event takes place on Friday, June 26, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Facebook and YouTube.
• NYC Pride’s Human Rights Conference will address the needs of the community in 2020 with panel discussions and workshops focused on mental health, religion and faith, voting rights, and youth driven conversations. There will be further updates on how this will proceed online);
• To raise money for the prevention and care of HIV/AIDS, which disproportionately affects the Black community, AIDS Walk New York is streaming on a live interactive broadcast in lieu of a physical event. The date is to be announced and will broadcast on their homepage, GMHC’s homepage, and Facebook Live.
Educate Yourself on Intersectionality
When it comes to the long history of oppression against Black Americans, there are plenty of resources out there available. Seek them out rather than burdening BIPOC (Black, indigenous people of color) with the heavy lifting.
Learn about intersectionality — which you can even accomplish with a Google search — is particularly important for the LGBTQ+ community because the lack of it can damage the community as a whole. But it’s always a good idea to understand the struggles of others; it’ll help you empathize with people who are impacted. For a deeper dive, there’s a lot of helpful scholarly journals and books, as well.
After doing some research, engage in conversations with people in your life who benefit from privilege. If you’re a white person, consider this quick guide to navigating this kind of conversation with white family members, friends, and co-workers. Children are the literal future, so read this guide on how to talk to them about racism and police brutality. If you still need more guidance, this is a helpful resource, and it doesn’t stop there.