OutReach Statement in Support of BLM Protests
First and foremost, we support the Black Lives Matter movement and the local, national, and global protests calling for an end to police brutality of Black people. We value people over property and call for an end to systemic police violence inflicted on Black communities, and condemn the violence inflicted on protests by the police.
Property can be replaced, but we cannot replace the lives lost to police brutality.
It is important as an LGBTQ+ organization, especially at the beginning of Pride month, to
remember the roots of the Pride movement from 51 years ago. We must not ignore the level of violence that is still inflicted on the LGBTQ+ community, especially against Black trans folks, from the police and other systems of State violence.
Stonewall was a riot against police brutality of the LGBTQ+ community. The movement was led by Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman and drag performer, and Sylvia Rivera, a Latinx trans woman and drag performer, both prominent activists in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Without their work, which included facing off with police and destruction of property, and the work of countless other queer, trans, People of Color (QTPOC), we would not have made the progress for the LGBTQ+ community that we have made today.
It is necessary that we recognize that our progress has not benefited our community equitably. Much of the movement since Stonewall has centered White progress while leaving QTPOC behind. Many LGBTQ+ organizations continue to be White led and do not do the work to interrogate how they benefit from systems of White supremacy.
OutReach has been among these organizations. And while we are still working through the harm that we have caused and ways to uplift and amplify QTPOC, we recognize that we have a lot of work ahead of us in order to repair, rebuild trust, and to actively support our QTPOC community and collective justice for all LGBTQ+ people.
We ask for the support of our White LGBTQ+ community and allies in this work. We follow the lead of QTPOC who graciously hold us accountable. There are many ways to help support the work that we are doing as an organization, through OutReach as well as other community organizations that center QTPOC.
If you are able to donate to help OutReach keep the work going, in serving all LGBTQ+ people in south central Wisconsin, please do.
We also ask you to consider donating to Freedom Inc, a local nonprofit focused on serving Black, Indigenous, and Southeast Asian communities and QTPOC. Additionally, consider donating to Orgullo Latinx, a local nonprofit focused on serving the LGBTQ+ Latinx community, and GSAFE, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ youth. As well as these local nonprofit organizations who support communities of color: Urban Triage, Progress Center for Black Women, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Madison Area Urban Ministry, Moses, Nehemiah, Justified Anger, Voces de la Frontera, Centro Hispano, Dane County TimeBank, and many others.
If we are to have a strong community, we need to work together as a community and uplift and amplify the voices and experiences of those who are most impacted by systemic and interpersonal prejudice, bigotry, and the violence therefore caused.
Thank you for keeping us accountable.
OutReach Board President
OutReach Executive Director