The Stonewall Democratic Club earned its namesake from an act of civil disobedience that would go on to pave the way for expanded LGBTQ+ rights in America and a fight for equality that lives on today. The first pride march was a protest, and it wasn't until a trans person of color threw that first brick at the Stonewall Riots that we were able to begin the work of making change. There is no LGBTQ+ Pride Month without black voices.
The queer community has a unique responsibility to stand with and support black bodies.
The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve their community, the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery by two white men while taking a jog, and Christoper Cooper's story of yet another white woman using her privilege to cause a potentially fatal incident, have once again joined the thousands of incidents like them that highlight the pervasive and system inequality in our country.
This is America. Not Obama’s America, not Trump’s America. OUR America.
Stonewall is calling on an immediate end to the use of police force against peaceful protestors. The practice of beating down dissenting voices is distinctly unAmerican and threatens our civil liberties and constitutional freedoms.
Stonewall is a community first. A community who’s LGBTQ activism has reverberated across this country since the first brick was thrown at the Inn. A community led by black trailblazers like Marsha P Johnson and Bayard Rustin. While the stories we see on the news are centered around the killings of cisgender black males, we cannot forget the daily unreported murders of those who are gay, queer, or transgender. Remember their lives, too.
So, here are just a few of ways that may help you navigate what to do next:
- Speak Up. Have continuous conversations with your friends and family, use your platforms. Don’t just do it when it’s making headlines. Don’t just do it for likes on Facebook or Twitter. Silence costs lives.
- Reach out to your black friends, co-workers or family members. A check-in text will go a long way.
- Take cues from local and national black leaders and find impactful ways to get involved.
- Consider supporting black-owned businesses and subscribing to black content creators.
- Hold your elected officials accountable for their words, votes, and actions...and Vote this November.
Finally, there are a lot of organizations doing great work and need your support. So, consider throwing a few dollars at organizations like:
- Minnesota Freedom Fund providing direct bail to protestors.
- Black Visions Collective A political home for black people across Minnesota,” this Minnesota nonprofit is dedicated to safe, autonomous black communities.
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Black Lives Matter Los Angeles
Stonewall is also joining the ACLU's call to unite behind groups like the Movement for Black Lives and reimagine the role of police in our communities, with a first step of reinvesting funds currently allocated to law enforcement, "into community resources that are purposefully and programmatically used to maintain safety, health, and stability, all without police intervention."
To be a strong ally is not to be a savior, but these are just a few ways you can center that rage, and make a difference.
Our work together is not over, but I’m hopeful for us. Our Black Lives Matter today, tomorrow, every day.
Please join us. We have a lot of work to do.