RCNW Board Response to Capitol Hill Pride
June 20, 2021
Allyship does not begin and end with those outside our community.
We were reminded of this last week when Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, the organizers of Capitol Hill Pride, filed a complaint with the City of Seattle’s Human Rights Commission over another local LGBTQ+ event, Taking B(l)ack Pride, charging an admission fee for white attendees. We encourage you to read the exchange, including the Seattle Human Rights Commission’s brilliant response: https://www.facebook.com/SeattleHumanRightsCommission/photos/a.194972383955885/4059192970867121/.
In their trumped-up outrage, LeFevre and Lipson completely missed the point as well as an opportunity to be the intersectional and inclusive allies that Capitol Hill Pride has been claiming to cultivate for years.
Without People of Color, particularly Transgender Women of Color, the Pride movement would not exist. This, of course, means Capitol Hill Pride would also not exist for its organizers to spout their dangerous and short-sighted “concerns.”
We find it ironic that Capitol Hill Pride’s organizers would be outraged about a space prioritized for a specific community of people. By viewing the situation through their immense white privilege, they are showing just how essential events like Taking B(l)ack Pride are. Further, reparations are NOT a punishment against white people; they are an acknowledgement of past and present injustices through the redistribution of resources.
Being an ally and supporting our community isn’t about personal comfort. It is only in discomfort that growth and change can be achieved.
Over the last several weeks we have been compiling Pride events happening throughout the West Sound and Seattle. Both of the events discussed here appear in our listings. After much deliberation, we have decided to allow Capitol Hill Pride’s listing to remain, but only with basic information about the event and a link to the Seattle Human Rights Commission’s response to organizers.
Taking B(l)ack Pride is on Saturday, June 26 from 1 – 10 pm in Seattle’s Jimi Hendrix Park. It is being organized by Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, Queer The Land, and Alphabet Alliance of Color. If you are white or white passing and plan to attend, be prepared to pay admission; otherwise stay home and allow the space to remain for Queer People of Color.
This incident puts a spotlight on significant issues—particularly surrounding racism and transphobia—that exist within the LGBTQ+ community. We can only facilitate change by recognizing our own privilege, having tough conversations, and doing the hard work. That is, by being an actual ally.
The Board of Rainbow Crew Northwest: