For the past several years our country has seen a rise in hate speech and violence. Most at risk are the people whose lives rest at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. 2019 was a year our community saw the murder of black trans women reach epidemic levels. When we take a step back and look at our current administration’s anti-black racism, transphobia, and homophobia we need not wonder why. So, other than voting, how do we fight back?
We have to do one of the things our community does best — take our individuality and celebrate it!
Watching Janelle Monae take the national platform of the Oscars and use that opportunity to proclaim, “I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist, telling stories. Happy Black History Month,” was an inspirational moment of visibility. California Governor Gavin Newsom pardoning civil rights legend Bayard Rustin was justice delayed, and yet a marker of progress for our state. As families across the country watched Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union publicly embrace their daughter Zaya’s trans identity, it gave us hope for our own families.
Here in San Diego, we have many opportunities to support, uplift, celebrate and honor our black LGBTQ community. This Friday, you can come out to Black Girl Magic and support the work of our local black drag community. March 8 San Diego Pride will be at the March for Black Women, and we hope you march alongside us. March 13 the Bayard Rustin Civil Rights Honors will recognize local movement leaders from the black LGBTQ community. On April 3rd at the Trans Day of Empowerment, we will award funds to students from the Tracie Jada Obrien Scholarship Fund, a program founded a lead by a local black trans woman. At the San Diego Pride Festival in July, our Movement stage, which centers around black LGBTQ music artists is connected to our Black Pride area which centers around resources for our black LGBTQ community in partnership with the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition who do incredible ongoing work for our community all year round.
Let’s continue to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of folks like Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Glenn Burke, Stormé DeLarverie, and Janet Mock whose brilliance and persistence has inspired generations of us. That’s how we fight back against hate, that’s how we change hearts and minds, and that is how Together We Rise.
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride
Learn more about the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition here.