Today marks the first day of Pride 2020.
It also marks the seventh day of protests held in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. It’s been 634 days since Botham Jean was murdered by a police officer, 233 days since Atatiana Jefferson was fatally shot by a police officer, 2,123 days since Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer, and 2,146 days since Eric Garner was choked to death by a police officer.
It has been five days since Tony McDade, a Black trans man from Florida, was shot and killed by a police officer.
At the time of this post, it has been almost 19 hours since David McAtee was shot and killed by the authorities.
This week has served as a stark reminder that those who have power in this country wield it recklessly and violently against Black people, non-Black POC, and trans people. For some, the power is found in their badge. In others, it’s their skin tone, their socio-economic status, their cisgender privileges, or any other number of privileges one can have. In 2018, with at least 26 trans people who were murdered, all but one were trans women, and all but one were people of color. According to data collected by Human Rights Campaign, this pattern is all too common. It should also be noted that the number of trans people who are murdered is grossly underreported, with many families and newspapers often misgendering those who can no longer speak up for themselves.
On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall riots began as a response to the constant police raids of nightlife establishments frequented by the LGBTQIA+ community. That night sparked a revolution, with many eye-witnesses crediting Black and Latinx trans women for being brave enough to ignite what would become one of the most pivotal nights in LGBTQIA+ history. Without Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, there would have been no uprising. Without them, there would be no Pride.
At this moment, it would be tone-deaf and insensitive to commemorate Pride in the same celebratory fashion we usually do. Instead, we’re asking you to make the commitment to better the lives of the oppressed. Do the work to become actively anti-racist if you are not Black. Spread the word that Black lives matter. Spread the word that trans people deserve to feel safe wherever they go. Reblog this post, make your own, or find someone in your life who doesn’t understand and do your best to make them understand. Donate if you can.
The first Pride was a riot. We stand with you.