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National LGBTQ Task Force Statement: Stonewall Was a Riot #BlackLivesMatter

Stonewall was a riot. #BlackLivesMatter

Dear Task Force Family, 

Like you, we are holding immeasurable pain, anger, and grief in our hearts. 

As LGBTQ Pride Month begins, peaceful protesters are taking to the streets across the country with righteous anger, pain, and mourning calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others who have lost their lives to police brutality and anti-Black violence. 

June is usually a time when we honor and show our resilience as we celebrate the revolutionary roots of the LGBTQ movement, from the Stonewall uprising to the direct action during the AIDS pandemic, to the on-going fight for equality under the law for all LGBTQ people. 

This year is different. A global pandemic has highlighted health disparities in diverse communities, we are experiencing a historic climate of economic uncertainty, and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade at the hands of law enforcement have made visible once again the individual, institutional and systemic racism that continues to plague this country. 

Black lives matter. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. 

As an organization with a long history of fighting racial injustice both within and outside of queer communities, we join those demanding justice and equity for Black people. 

As a community, we must also continue to dismantle White Supremacy and fight back against long-standing and insidious structures that have oppressed and marginalized Black people for hundreds of years. 

We must reclaim, fortify and rebuild our democracy, as we see White Supremacy and overt racism coming from the so-called leadership of this country, seeking to destroy the very bedrock of democratic principles upon which our nation is supposedly based. 

We support those fighting to expand civil liberties to the most vulnerable and uplift those who have not had a voice. We condemn the attacks on the bodies and civil liberties of protesters—justified by the state in the name of “security”—which we recognize as a veiled excuse for racial profiling, raiding homes, breaking up families, and revoking the right to vote, and criminalizing our constitutional right to protest.

Let us all consider the questions that continue to plague us:

  • Can a Black man not go for a run without being stalked and killed?
  • Can a Black trans woman not walk down the street without fear of violence for simply being true to herself?
  • Can Black youth have hope for a future and opportunity that right now seems unattainable?
  • Can any person of color not expect basic respect from law enforcement and the justice system?
  • Can we live in a county where Black lives truly matter?

Right now, the answer is NO. The real question is, what will you – what will we – do about it? 

Moving forward, we will continue to provide resources and opportunities for you to engage, educate, and advocate for racial justice. As we approach the November elections, our communities must mobilize and be unified in our stand for equity for all. 

The Task Force commits to continue our own learning and to continue prioritizing racial justice as we work to achieve freedom, justice, and equity for all LGBTQ people. 

In Solidarity,
Rea Carey & Kierra Johnson
Executive Director & Deputy Executive Director