Black LGBTQIA+ Lives Matter
Pride month is almost over, but the work continues. The fight for equality, safety, and freedom doesn’t end until everyone is free to love and live safely. Pride wouldn’t exist without Black queer and trans people like Marsha P. Johnson and Cece McDonald, and today marks the 50th anniversary of the very first Pride march.
Earlier this month, we announced that we are committing ourselves to being an actively anti-racist business, and we mentioned that you can expect to see a difference in our content moving forward. In this spirit, we want to take time to honor, support, and celebrate Black LGBTQIA+ lives and to do our part to continue taking action as we learn more about the role we can play in dismantling systemic racism and oppression.
We are taking steps to educate ourselves, to recognize our privilege and to use our platform to support the Black LGBTQIA+ community. Our goal is to help normalize conversations about racism, prejudice, and oppression that are still ever present in our country today, and to amplify marginalized voices as we listen and learn.
We want to share with you what we’re currently doing to expand our education to encompass all Black lives.
1. We’re listening to and learning from past and present leaders in the Black LGBTQIA+ community:
Black LGBTQIA+ Leaders to Know
- Alice Walker
- Alicia Garza
- Aria Sa’id
- Audre Lorde
- Cece McDonald
- James Baldwin
- Marsha P. Johnson
- Miss Major
- Nala Simone Toussaint
- Ola Osaze
- Phil Wilson
- Raquel Willis
2. We’re reading and educating ourselves:
Our Reading List
- Go Tell It On the Mountain, James Baldwin
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, Charlene A Carruthers
- The Other Side of Paradise, Staceyann Chin
- Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi
- How We Fight for Our Lives, Saeed Jones
- Zami, Audre Lorde
- The Summer We Got Free, Mia McKenzie
- Redefining Realness, Janet Mock
- Since I Laid My Burden Down, Brontez Purnell
- Real Life, Brandon Taylor
- Black On Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity, C. Riley Snorton
- Reacquainted with Life, Kokumo Kinetic
3. We’re donating, making calls, and signing petitions:
Where to Donate
- Audre Lorde Project
- Black Visions Collective
- Black Trans Travel Fund
- Center for Black Equity
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- House of GG
- LGBTQ Freedom Fund
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative
- The Okra Project
- The Transgender District
- Trans Justice Funding Project
Numbers to Call
Demand justice for Tony McDade. Tony was a Black transgender man who lost his life at the hands of a Tallahassee police officer whose name has not been released to the public. Please contact the chief of police, Lawrence Revell, (850-891-4200) to demand that the Tallahassee police department and the officer responsible are held accountable; text “Tony McDade” to 484848 to demand the release of body camera footage from the night Tony was killed.
Petitions to Sign
- Justice for Kayla Moore: Kayla Moore was a Black transgender woman who was wrongfully killed by the Berkley Police Department; her case was dismissed by a U.S. District court judge in 2018. Sign this petition to support Kayla Moore’s family in appealing the wrongful death suit.
- Justice for Nina Pop: Nina Pop was a Black transgender woman whose life was taken by anti-Black LGBTQIA+ violence; sign this petition to bring an end to anti-Black culture and anti-LGBTQIA+ culture.
- Justice for Tete Gulley: Tete Gulley, a Black transgender woman, was found hanging from a tree in Rocky Butte Park in our home state of Oregon. Sign this petition to ask demand that the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) is held accountable for negligence and failure to properly investigate Tete’s case.
- Justice for Riah Milton: Riah Milton was a Black transgender woman who was killed during a robbery of her car; sign this petition to keep Riah’s case in the public eye and to bring her to justice.
- Justice for Tony McDade: Tony McDade, a Black transgender man, lost his life at the hands of a Tallahassee police officer whose name has not be released to the public; sign this petition to demand that the Tallahassee police department and the officer responsible are held accountable.
- Reinstate protections for LGBTQIA+ healthcare: The Trump Administration recently repealed healthcare protections for the LGBTQIA+ community; sign this petition to demand the right for LGBTQIA+ people to receive medical attention without discrimination or refusal of service.
4. We’re diversifying what we watch and listen to:
- AfroQueer Podcast | A Pan-African podcast hosted by Selly Thiam and Aida Holly-Nambi that features interviews with LGBTQIA+ people.
- Black Girl Dangerous Podcast | Raquel Willis, a Black queer transgender activist, hosts this podcast that amplifies the voices of trans and queer people of color.
- QueerWOC | A podcast hosted by Nikeeta and Money that highlights a different queer woman of color in each episode.
- The Read | Kid Fury and Crissle discuss hip-hop, celebrity gossip, life in New York City, and Black queer kinship with a comedic twist.
- Never Before | A new podcast by Trans activist Janet Mock that centers queer people, people of color, and other marginalized voices.
- Bessie | HBO, Hulu, YouTube
- Black Is, Black Ain’t | Amazon, Kanopy
- Brother to Brother | YouTube
- Disclosure | Netflix
- Free Cece! | Vimeo On Demand and Amazon Prime
- Kiki | Amazon, Hulu, YouTube
- Moonlight | Netflix
- Paris is Burning | Netflix, iTunes
- Portrait of Jason | Amazon, iTunes
- Rafiki | Amazon, iTunes, Kanopt
- Tangerine | Amazon, iTunes, YouTube
Our lists are actively growing and changing; we invite you to join the conversation and provide your own suggestions and feedback.
We recognize that our current actions cannot possibly reconcile a lifetime of oppression that the Black LGBTQIA+ community continue to experience. We take ownership for not showing up earlier.
Now and moving forward, we are choosing to educate ourselves, speak out, and take action to stand in solidarity with all Black lives and to celebrate the Black LGBTQIA+ community. We acknowledge the long road ahead, and we are here for it.
- Black Trans Lives Matter: actions & resources for solidarity
- “Black Trans Women Seek More Space in the Movement They Helped Start”: The New York Times highlights the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQIA+ activism; amplification of Black trans voices is long overdue.
- More Black LGBTQ+ Films That Deserve Your Attention: “these films are an indelible part of the queer canon.”
- The Radical Database: a growing database ranging from LGBTQIA+ Foundations to food assistance, reading lists to petitions, and career help to mental health resources; created by Angelina Ruiz, an Afro-Latina from The Bronx.
- “Ways to Support, Protect, and Demand Justice for Black Trans and Queer People“: an article from Brightest Young Things with actionable steps to demand justice for LGBTQIA+ lives.
artwork by Laura Barton