Black Lives Matter statement at Boston Pride

Boston marchers, June 13.WW photo: Stevan Kirschbaum

Boston marchers, June 13.
WW photo: Stevan Kirschbaum

We demand fair and equitable Pride fees. It is an outrage that community organizations and nonprofits, serving the most vulnerable of our LGBTQ community, cannot afford to march. We demand a higher corporate rate that covers the expense and fees for small nonprofit organizations to participate in Pride. If corporations are going to use Pride to profit from our community, they can at least pay more for the opportunity.

We demand that Boston Pride take their hands off Black and Latino Pride.

We demand that the funding allocated to Black and Latino Pride events be free of interference from Boston Pride’s predominately white board of directors, and used by the Black and Latino LGBTQ community as they see fit.

We demand more diversity in the board of directors for Boston Pride.

We demand that the board represent our community by recruiting people of color, trans people and working-class people. We demand a Pride board as diverse as our community, and not solely comprised of wealthy white capitalist gays and lesbians.

We demand that corporate sponsors be approved not only based on how they treat their LGBTQ employees, but on how they treat their customers and the communities in which they operate.

Big-bank sponsors and participants are complicit with gentrification and predatory lending that have had devastating impacts on communities of color. There’s no pride in corporate destruction of Black and Brown communities! We demand a review board of all corporate sponsors that will reject corporations that exploit the most vulnerable of our community.

We demand a Pride parade route that marches through a community of color. Hosting Boston Pride in the South End and downtown area purposely excludes communities of color and perpetuates the idea that communities of color are somehow more homophobic than white people. We all know better and demand a Pride that includes our neighborhoods!

We demand that Boston Pride remembers that Pride started as a riot led by trans and gender non-conforming people of color!

Our liberation as LGBTQ people isn’t finished. Without the liberation of all oppressed people, it will never be complete. We demand that Pride themes focus on the political issues of our diverse community. We don’t need more parties and meaningless themes. We need justice.

Our Demands of the Boston LGBTQ community:

We demand Boston’s mainstream LGBTQ organizations hire more LGBTQ leaders of color in senior management positions.

We demand more transgender women of color hired in leadership roles at Boston’s mainstream LGBTQ organizations.

We deserve shelter reform for LGBTQ youth of color and trans individuals of color. LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in homeless youth, and yet there is currently only one youth shelter in the area that accommodates their needs. We demand fully funded youth shelters and reform of the Department of Children and Families to provide help to LGBTQ children from homophobic and transphobic families.

We demand the mainstream LGBTQ community acknowledge the growing HIV and STI [sexually transmitted infection] rates in neighborhoods of color in Boston. Despite the rates of HIV/STIs decreasing for white gay men, it has increased in Black and Latino MSM [men who have sex with men] and trans communities. We demand our community respond by developing an LGBTQ health center in a community of color. We demand accessible education and resources that aren’t coupled with criminalization and racism.

We demand all transgender health care, including gender-affirming surgeries, be included into MassHealth and all Massachusetts health care plans at no extra cost, under an informed consent model and without gatekeepers, especially for transgender minors.

We demand that our community come together to fight the recent closing of health centers operated by and for people of color, such as the Latin-American Health Institute and Massachusetts for Asian and Pacific Islander Health.

We demand that our community come out publicly against holding the 2024 Olympics in Boston. The Olympics will bring unprecedented gentrification, surveillance, cutting of social services and punitive policing to our city.

We demand that more city funding be funneled to LGBTQ organizations of color and safe spaces.

We demand that our community finally acknowledge the systemic racism in this city.

Boston is consistently listed by many media sources as one of the most racist cities in the U.S. We demand the city of Boston commit itself to ending the assault/harassment of LGBTQ people of color by the Boston Police Department.

See ‘Pride confronts racism’ on page 1 or for more information.