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WAPA Statement in Support of BLM and our Black LGBTQ+ Siblings

Inclusive Pride rainbow flag, with black & brown stripes & the transgender flag as an inset triangle

 

Dear Wellesley siblings,

We write to you today to affirm our support for our Black community members and affirm that Black lives matter. It’s difficult sometimes to feel that words have an impact, when words can so often be empty gestures without action behind them. But speaking is an action, just as staying silent is an action. Raising a voice is an action. Words can connect us, uplift us, reinforce our shared humanity, and celebrate the vibrant, multifaceted experiences of our community, and we write today in the hopes of doing that. We condemn police and state violence against Black lives, and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. 

In June, we celebrate our LGBTQ+ Pride. Pride would not exist--so many social gains of our community would not exist--without the Stonewall Riots of June 1969 and the Black queer and trans people who began them: Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, and so many others whose names weren’t preserved. We would not be here without them. The Stonewall Riots, like the protests today, were an uprising against police brutality. We call on our community to remember and honor that this year, and to fight for justice for Black Americans murdered by police and by systemic racism in America. There can be no Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us. 

Black communities in America have been hit worse than any others by the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic made worse by medical racism and institutional anti-Blackness. Black LGBTQ+ people, Black trans women especially, face increased violent effects of racism, homophobia, and transphobia. We recognize that this is an especially exhausting, frightening, grief-filled time for our Black LGBTQ+ siblings, and we affirm your place in our community, now and always. Black writers, artists, activists--Black people, full stop, are a fundamental part of the LGBTQ+ community, and we are enriched by their presence and their experiences. Black lives matter. Black queer lives matter. Black trans lives matter. Black lives matter.

This Pride month, we’ll be showing films by Black creators or Black actors highlighting Black LGBTQ+ experiences, and spotlighting charities that support Black communities. Films will include The Color Purple, Watermelon Woman, Tangerine, Moonlight, and others; we’ll have the full listing of dates, films, and charities on our website soon. We’ve also made a short list of resources below that we hope will be useful to everyone for internal and societal anti-racist work, for justice in our communities, and for healing. 

The first Pride was a riot. Radical change comes from radical actions, but those actions can start small: radical compassion, radical anger, radical love. We stand with our Black siblings and all Black people, to say: your lives matter.

Signed,

The WAPA Board

Resources