This June feels different from many others we’ve experienced as a community. Pride parades and celebrations around the world have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are physically separated from our chosen families, loved ones, and friends. Protests, demonstrations, and riots in cities around the United States have brought millions together to affirm Black lives and challenge police violence, white supremacy, and anti-Black racism.
The Board of Directors of Stanford Pride would like to take this moment as an opportunity to speak on several things. The first is to make clear our support of these protests and the ideals behind them, and contextualize these recent events within the history of the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. The second is to recognize where as an organization we have failed to fully support our LGBTQ+ community, especially our Black community members. Lastly is to commit honestly and publicly to actions we will take to build an organization that serves all members of our community, and how community members can join us in this process.
Jump to LGBTQ Resources Against Racism
In the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by law enforcement. In response to police violence, members of the local community fought back. Led by poor Black and brown transgender people, sex workers, butch lesbians, homeless gay youth, and drag queens, the following demonstrations and violent riots lasted a total of five days. We recognize that the Stonewall Riots, widely seen as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ+ movement, was a violent uprising against police brutality and unjust laws that hurt the most marginalized of our communities. We recognize that we owe many of the rights and social acceptance the LGBTQ+ community enjoys today to the tireless activism and advocacy of our most marginalized members, especially Black queer and trans people, and that our current moment is the latest example in a long history of Black queer and trans leadership driving long-overdue change.
Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter. We fully support and stand behind the efforts of protesters and advocates around the country pushing for a more just and equitable world, and are committed to doing our part to contribute to that vision.
While we have had several non-public discussions as a group, we recognize that we have been publicly silent on this matter. There is no justification for that, and we apologize for not speaking out sooner in support of our members, friends, and peers in the Black community.
As a board, we have struggled through the uncomfortable reality that as an organization, Stanford Pride has not lived up to our mission to create and foster a diverse and affirming community of LGBTQ+ alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Our leadership and membership have long struggled to fully represent the diversity of our broader LGBTQ+ community. Our event programming, whether around the world or on Stanford campus, has struggled to attract and engage the most marginalized members of our community. And our messaging and communication have too often stayed silent on topics of concern for women, BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color), transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and the intersections of these identities. We can and will do better, and also know that this acknowledgement isn’t enough without meaningful change in how we act and think.
We understand there is a significant amount of work for us to do to rectify the lack of representation on our board, in our events, in the composition of our panels, and in other areas where we invite members to contribute. We are committed to having diversity become integral to our membership and ethos. We know we must act with urgency.
Stanford Pride is committing to do the following:
- Hold a special election to fill open board seats, and continually evaluate the composition of the Board to be reflective of the Stanford community.
- Engage QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) members specifically to collect their testimonials as part of our long-standing Oral History Project.
- Coordinate with SNBAA and POC alumni organizations to host more joint events about the shared history of our communities and about advocating effectively for societal change.
- Host an open Town Hall to hear members’ thoughts and feedback on how we can become a more inclusive and responsive organization and expand on our mission to reflect the diversity of our community.
- Survey new graduates and current Stanford students, with a focus on queer and trans students of color, to understand how Pride can best serve our diverse community
- Rethink our programming to better attract and engage the full population of the community we serve.
Activist, drag queen, and survivor Marsha P. Johnson has said, “History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable, it happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.” We are committing Stanford Pride to being that kind of organization – one that decisively includes and celebrates our entire community.
Stanford Pride Board of Directors
For community members looking for direct support, the Board has identified the following resources specific for our community:
- For Black and POC Members
- For Anti-Racist White Allies
- For People Up to 25 Years of Age:
- TrevorLifeline – (866) 488-7386
- Trevor Project – Resources
- Trans Lifeline – (877) 565-8860
- GLBT National Hotline – (888) 843-4564
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, English and Spanish – (212) 714-1141
Educational Resources & Pop Culture
For community members looking for additional ways to support and self-educate on ways to support the community:
Content Centering Black and/or Queer and Trans Experiences
- Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique by Roderick Ferguson
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings
- Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
Content Centering QTPOC Experiences
Content Centering Whiteness with a Critical Lens
- How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson
- Memoir of a Race Traitor: Fighting Racism in the American South by Mabs Segrest
- Born to Belonging by Mabs Segrest
For Parents with Children