Fund Seattle’s Yearly Taking Black Pride
Who We Are
Our goal was to create a Pride space for BIPOC Trans & Queer folks in Seattle & surrounding areas. We are all local organizers who participated in the historic BLM protests protests and marches in Seattle; both in and out of the CHOP/CHAZ area.
Within all of that we did not see representation reflective of our transgender & gender diverse communities nor representation of folks who are the collective boots on the ground in our communities the other 250 days of the year.
We saw long time trans, gender diverse & queer BIPOC organizers (who actively organize related to the issues our communities face in relation to race, gender & sexual orientation) pushed to the side in favor of flashy opportunists looking for 15 mins of fame, & people who both intentionally and unintentionally undermined the work, priorities, & spaces created by BIPOC trans, gender diverse & queer organizers.
Additionally, there were also folks who have historically not cared about Black LGBTQ folks within our own community being uplifted as “Black Leaders” and collective mouthpieces for our whole community. However, we knew and saw that their goals and agendas would never address or align with the needs and issues present within the Black LGBTQ community, in overwhelming favor of the needs and issues present within the context of cis het normativity. We also know that as such, Black people are not a monolith and that our needs can be varying when discussing and addressing lived experience and intersectional identities.
We saw that conversations regarding collective liberation for Black people, paid no attention to our lived experiences and intersectional identities and WE WERE TIRED.
As such, with Pride month upon us, we sought to create a space where we could regroup, rest, heal, find familiar faces, build community, strategize, find moments of joy, love, compassion, and bask in the fighting spirit of pride as dictated by the historic contribution to the very intention of Pride by our Transcestors, Marsha P Johnson, & Silvia Rivera.
We also know that contrary to the common framework of their contributions, that Black and Brown trans women and folks were often thrown under the bus by white LGBTQ organizers. We know that our fight for pride wasn’t necessarily in the incident at Stonewall, but the creation of complex mutual aid networks, and chosen family systems as seen in ballroom culture, in storming stages in critique of mainstream cis, white gay LGBQ culture (as Sylvia Riveria did at the 1973 NYC Christoper Street Liberation Parade)
We looked at the overwhelmingly white and gay Pride enterprise in Seattle and all over the US that exploits the talents, and contributions of Black and Brown LGBTQ folks, and knew that we wanted to opt out.
We also desperately needed a space to collectively grieve for our fallen; 2020 became one of the deadliest years for the trans and gender diverse community; especially for Black Transgender women and Trans Women of Color with 44 lives ripped away from us in total ( 2021 surpassed that at 47). Worldwide, 2021 was the deadliest year for trans people with over 375 killed.
We were memorializing our sisters and siblings often, both within the Seattle community (with the passing of Constance Blakeley, and LL Gimeno) as well as outside Seattle.
With the pandemic and the sheer amount of death and isolation present in our lives at the time, we felt that we just needed something else. We also wanted to root ourselves in the other parts of the “trans” story, which is that we are people. We seek love, companionship, family, fun, & laughter. We are nerdy, silly, goofy, serious, not serious enough, professionals, educated formally, educated informally, and the list goes on.
We are dynamic and different, and complex.
We found a space that acknowledges the whole of who we are as a community and as individuals in the creation of Taking Black Pride.
Please help fund Taking Black Pride for the Seattle BIPOC Trans and Queer community!