Freedom for all means just that: Freedom for all

By Kasey Suffredini • June 4, 2020 • 3:04 pm

Freedom for All Americans was founded with a distinct purpose—to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans can live their lives with dignity and respect, free from prejudice and discrimination. But the truth is this: We will never reach that goal if we do not include within it a commitment to working to overcome the systemic racism and police violence that is killing our Black community members, our Black friends, our Black family members, and our Black loved ones.

Again and again, we have witnessed violence against our Black communities, too often at the hands of those who are supposed to protect us. As an organization dedicated to securing equal treatment for all LGBTQ Americans, we stand in solidarity with our Black LGBTQ community members—and all Black Americans—in mourning George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and the millions of other Black Americans whose lives have been taken throughout our nation’s history of oppression and systemic racism.

June marks the start of LGBTQ Pride, a month whose history is rooted in a time when LGBTQ people and allies—Black, Brown and white, together—stood up at the Stonewall Inn against a police force carrying out the will of a society that was determined to deny our basic humanity. While racism, homophobia, and transphobia are not the same—and the fight our Black community members and friends are facing in this moment is very different—LGBTQ people know what it means to stand up for justice in the face of chronic police brutality and in the context of a larger culture that tells us our lives don’t matter.

And here’s another truth. While the LGBTQ community still has a long journey ahead to enjoy full equality, we would not be where we are without non-LGBTQ allies who stand up with and for us. Just as many non-LGBTQ allies will show their support this month during Pride, all Americans must stand up and unite to support the equal dignity and worth of our Black friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers. FFAA and I make that commitment and the action it requires as integral to our mission of ensuring dignity and respect for all LGBTQ Americans, and I hope you, our supporters, will join us. We are all better off when each of us is treated with dignity and respect. We will not rest until every LGBTQ American is free from discrimination, harassment and violence, no matter who they are, their zip code, or what skin color they have.

Freedom for all means just that—freedom for all. 

Now is the time for action. Last week, we joined together with hundreds of our fellow LGBTQ organizations in committing to combat racial injustice and joined our community in hearing from several Black LGBTQ movement leaders in a virtual town hall this past Wednesday on how the LGBTQ community can advance racial justice. Next Tuesday, we’ll attend a virtual town hall with white LGBTQ leaders to discuss how white people specifically can advance commitments to racial justice and anti-racism. As these public opportunities for discussion, learning and action develop we’ll be sure to keep you posted, and we hope you’ll join us. The work could not be more urgent, and we’re glad to have you by our side.

Ever forward,

Kasey Suffredini

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