A Few Choice Words on Pride 2015

By Words by Akiba Solomon. Video by Riley Wilson Jun 29, 2015

Much like there is a roiling debate about how people of color should understand, react to, and strategize around the Supreme Court’s historic legalization of gay and lesbian marriage, there’s discussion about if and how LGBTQ people of color should engage with mainstream Pride Month and other Pride-focused events. 

Of course LGBTQ people of color have long held their own regional Pride celebrations throughout the year. But many still speak out–officially and on social media–against what they consider to be ongoing problems with Pride programming that is white-dominated but depicted as colorblind. 

Some of the perennial issues include:

  • The erasure of the black and Puerto Rican transwomen—most notably Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera—who sparked the 1969 Stonewall Riot and thus gave birth to the contemporary LGBTQ movement
  • The racism and trans exclusion of the large, predominantly white, male LGBTQ organizations and media that make up what they call "Gay Inc."
  • Mainstream political focus on legalizing marriage at the expense of issues such as police violence, economic inequity and racism. 

In the run-up to this year’s Pride March in New York City, the largest of its kind in the world, Colorlines asked six gay, lesbian and trans people of color to weigh in on whether mainstream Pride events are here for people of color. Watch the video above.