June has always been known to be Pride month for both LGBTQ folks and straight allies alike.
But of course, this year's Pride month looks a bit different. With the COVID-19 pandemic blindsiding all of our plans, this includes all the colorful festivities and parades that we all look forward to in June get shuttered until next year.
And of course, the pandemic isn't the only reckoning that our society is dealing with. As the death of George Floyd rattled the nation in ways previously unseen, we have seen a myriad of protests take shape in literally every state.
Indeed, these events have dampened the spirit of what Pride month is all about. And some even say that these protests have taken the limelight away from the LGBTQ community for a month dedicated to them.
To that I say, I disagree. Because I believe racism is fundamentally a queer issue.
First, let me just say I think it's racist to somehow say that Black Lives Matter protests are taking away from Pride. Not only are you pitting marginalized communities against each other, but you're also assuming that LGBTQ people of color don't exist. Black queer and trans lives matter exist, and they matter just as all other black lives do.
But I also believe that racism is a queer issue because we are indebted to Black and Brown folks for creating the modern-day movement for LGBTQ rights. After all, the Stonewall riots were started in part by two trans women of color: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. It is because of their tenacity and courage to stand up and say "enough is enough" and trigger the modern movement for queer equality.
As queer people, we all have an obligation to uphold the legacy of those who paved the way for us to live our authentic selves. It saddens me to see many of those in the queer community having continually ignoring the calls for ending racial injustices, because we can live outside of the shadows because of Black and Brown folks.
I say this because we are experiencing a reckoning with rethinking how our society should be structured. The queer community is structured in a way that puts cis, fit white men at the center of queer spaces. And because of this, not only do we compare ourselves to unhealthy standards of what the quintessential queer person could be, but also that we compare others to that image and as a result we demonize each other.
The truth is that the LGBTQ community is fractured along racial, age, body and identity-oriented lines. Instead of celebrating our differences that make this community so vibrant, we see them and shun each other like two cats meeting each other for the first time.
And especially given these anxious times we're living in, this is a ludicrous behavior by many of us in the queer community.
So to my fellow girls and gays, as we wrap up Pride month, we should all uphold the legacy of the Black and Brown folks that gave us our livelihood and reflect on how we can reshape our queer communities to be more inclusive. Just because you're marginalized in one way doesn't mean you're allowed to marginalize someone else.
We are all about love, let's stay true to our word by calling out hatred in every form & uplift the most vulnerable in our communities.