Instinct Magazine stands in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It is our responsibility to speak out against the hate and violence that such a vital part of our community continues to face. Silence is not an option. Inactivity is not an option. Wavering is not an option.
Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Aniya Parker, Sandra Bland, Nunee Underwood, Atatiana Jefferson, Kelly Stough, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, … and countless others have been lost. We must do better in this fight against Racial Injustice and for Racial Equality.
Our own battle for LGBTQ+ Equality is vast, from the Lavender Scare in the ‘50s and ‘60s, The Compton Cafeteria Riots of 1966 and the Julius “Sip-In” of that same year, to 1969 and Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera, the strong LGBTQ+ people of color that started and lifted Stonewall to the pivotal turning point and the beginning of the modern LGBTQ+ Rights Movement. But as we know, the fight did not end there.
Two weeks after the killing of George Floyd and the Minneapolis City Council announced its intent to disband the police department in favor of community-led public safety, but this isn’t enough change to the system. After Stonewall in 1969, there were more protests and battles to continue the fight for change; the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979, the removal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2011, winning Marriage Equality on June 26, 2015, and the struggle for LGBTQ+ Rights continues.
During Pride Month, we celebrate our milestones in the LGBTQ+ Community, honor those that came before us, and acknowledge that the fight must continue. Without the inclusion of black LGBTQ+ Community members, it would not be a Pride, would not be an accurate history, and many of those milestones are because of our black queer and transgender voices, fighters, and leaders.
May these current demonstrations for #BlackLivesMatter be the turning point in the battle for racial equity as Stonewall was for the LGBTQ+ Community. Our daily fight for LGBTQ+ acceptance will go on, but it MUST include solidarity with Black lives and be a voice against racial injustice.
We as media, we as Instinct Magazine, will work harder to have black voices heard, to support black artists more, to educate readers on the injustices and systemic oppression of the black community. That is what we must and will continue to do more than ever.
We cannot be silent, we cannot be inactive, and we cannot be wavering. The work continues beyond protests and hashtags and expands into our daily life. We cannot lessen our fight for LGBTQ+ Equality and we cannot lessen the fight against Racial Injustice.