“Nobody’s Free Until Everybody’s Free.” – Fannie Lou Hamer
June is Pride Month, Immigrant Heritage Month and also marks Juneteenth celebrations. Pride month is not only a celebration of LGBTQIA+ identities, it’s a celebration rooted in movement towards collective liberation. As we continue this glorious month let us also remember our movement leaders who paved the way for what we now know as Pride month. Many don’t know that these movement founders were trans women of color and Black lesbians, including Marsha P. Johnson, Silvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and Stormé DeLarverie. These Black and brown women faced not only racial oppression but other compounded violences and denial of access to rights because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism and other forms of oppression never exist in a vacuum. Those with multiple (intersecting) marginalized identities statistically suffer the most harm and bias. When we stand up for LGBTQIA+ rights we must stand up for everyone. If you’re not considering racial, disability and other forms of justice when you’re considering queer/gay justice, your solidarity is shortsighted and missing the mark
In addition, when we undertake activities that claim to include or ‘center’ someone of a marginalized identity, we must look deeply and ask if those activities are being led, guided, and informed by members of the identities we seek to support. Who else can possibly know best what is needed? Who else has that lived experience?
– ARISE Core Group Member, Kim Fleisher