LGBTQ+ Pride Month is here, and what is usually a joyful celebration of diversity and self-expression comes this year not only in the midst of a global pandemic but also during massive uprisings in response to the systematic police violence directed towards Black people in this country, most recently exemplified by the brutal murder of George Floyd.
The de Castellane Foundation stands in solidarity with the more than 75 LGBTQ+ organizations who penned an open letter this week committing explicitly to embracing anti-racism and ending to white supremacy, as “integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.”
We know that all oppression is inextricably linked; moving forward with respect to intersectionality, and in a way that centers the justice of Black transgender women, in particular, is imperative to the liberation of all people. As the open letter notes, “…this year alone, we have lost at least 12 members of our [transgender] community: Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, and Tony McDade.”
As we as a country mourn these unthinkable losses of life, we urge our community to support the movement to defend Black lives by taking action and rising up in solidarity. We remember the Stonewall Riots that paved the way for the global LGBTQ+ rights movement as we now know it. We remember that it was trans women of color who led those uprisings, catalyzing a national movement that fought for the same ideals we seek today — the freedom to live, to breathe, without the presence of police raids and brutality.
We remember the White Night Riots after America’s justice system failed Harvey Milk. We remember the massacres left out of history books, like the Tulsa race massacre that occurred 99 years ago today, when 35 square blocks of black-owned homes and businesses were burned by white mobs. White supremacist patriarchal violence has stained our nation for too long, and we stand in unity with those defending civil rights, especially those of all marginalized communities.
“Any rights that we (as the LGBTQ+ Community) have today, have started from riots,” said Daniel de Castellane, President of the de Castellane Foundation. “As allies to this movement I believe our first job is to listen and to ask how we can support Black Lives Matter, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, the NAACP, and other organizations taking the lead to end racially biased violence. Our job is to listen first, and then to act. We are not coming in recommending strategies. We will not be silent, and we will not turn our backs on the Black community during this urgent time. We ask that members of our many LGBTQ+ communities step into this commitment with us – the commitment to listen, and to act.”
As LGBTQ+ people representing many races, cultures, religions, languages, and colors, we know what it is to stand up for our inherent worth. We know what it is to stand up for the right to occupy space, for our identities, and to speak out against discrimination, harassment, and violence.
We are curious, open, and learning. We are educating our communities, our organizations, and ourselves on why it is important for LGBTQ+ communities to stand with Black communities — why our politics, our values, and our liberation are bound together.
The Black community faces dual threats of Covid-19 and white supremacist violence, and we commit to not only speak out on these issues, but to take action: put our bodies on the front lines, to sign petitions, to listen to the voices and wisdom of those impacted by systematic racism, donate to organizations like Black Lives Matter, Reclaim the Block, Black Visions Collective, Bail Fund Support, as well as Covid-19 relief efforts, and organizations that promote health justice and health equity. Our white allies commit to Ending White Silence by taking part in personal Anti-Racist Education Work.
About the de Castellane Foundation:
The de Castellane Foundation was created with the idea of helping people grow out of poverty, in 2019, with the supervision of Daniel de Castellane. In addition to fighting poverty, the foundation has put its focus on studying compassion in our society and developing new ways to promote kindness within communities. In an effort to do so, we are currently teaming up with renowned Universities, in order to look into sociological and psychological factors that can help our cause.
Bail Fund Support:
Black Lives Matter:
Black Visions Collective:
Reclaim the Block:
Take Action to End White Silence:
Tulsa Race Massacre:
White Night Riots: