Before there was RuPaul and “Queer Eye,” there was Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, and Sylvia Rivera. Before there was Pride Month, there was Christopher Street and the Stonewall Inn. Before Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges, there was Bowers v. Hardwick, DOMA, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Before there were parades and glitter, there were bricks.
Pride is a celebration of joy, love, affirmation, and community. Pride is a negation of the voices and systems that would shame, shun, and silence based on who we are and whom we love. Pride was born out of riots, prominently led by Black and Latinx queer and trans individuals, against the police harassment and brutality that was commonplace and expected toward our community at that time.
The Stonewall Uprising of 1969, ACT UP’s actions in the 1980s during the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and all of the civil rights advances and advocacy work since then have yielded significant progress for the LGBTQIA+ community. We know what it means to push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter.
Our work is not done and cannot ever be done without recognizing and embracing intersectionality in our missions, policies, practices, and core values. We must make explicit commitments to embrace and practice anti-racism as integral to the objective of full equality for all LGBTQIA+ people.
Fond du Lac Pride Alliance recognizes that, at this moment, neutrality and avoidance is a negative peace, and silence is complicity. We hereby explicitly state that #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the learning, listening, and action those words require.