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75 LGBT+ groups join coalition in support of Black Lives Matter: ‘We understand what it means to rise up’

Emma Powys Maurice May 30, 2020
Black Lives Matter

Protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest near Barclays Center on May 29, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York City (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty)

Dozens of prominent LGBT+ organisations have united in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, noting their shared experiences of harassment and police brutality.

Over 100 leaders of at least 75 groups, including GLAAD, The Trevor Project and Human Rights Watch, have signed a joint statement denouncing racial violence in America.

In an open letter calling for intersectional support, they name George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Christian Cooper alongside the many members of the black transgender community who have been lost to the shocking “epidemic of violence“.

“All of these incidents are stark reminders of why we must speak out when hate, violence, and systemic racism claim — too often with impunity — Black Lives,” they wrote.

“The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?”

We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter.

The letter was released as the city of Minneapolis went up in flames amid race riots following the murder of an African American man, George Floyd, who was suffocated to death by police officers.

The signatories acknowledge the progress many LGBT+ groups have made in adopting intersectionality, but urge the community to go further by explicitly committing to ending racism and white supremacy, “not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.”

“We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected,” the organisations wrote.

“We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically. We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter.

“Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.”

 

More: black lives matter, GLAAD, human rights watch, police brutality, racism, trevor project

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