Organizers of a Black-focused LGTBQ+ Pride event have received mixed reactions after announcing they will be charging white attendees up to $50 in “reparations fees.”
“All are free to attend HOWEVER this is a BLACK AND BROWN QUEER TRANS CENTERED, PRIORITIZED, VALUED, EVENT,” organizers wrote on the website. “White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee that will be used to keep this event free of cost for BLACK AND BROWN Trans and Queer COMMUNITY.”
The event is separate from Seattle Pride, who have taken issue with the upcoming Black-focused. Capitol Hill Pride takes place at Cal Anderson Park on the same day. They filed a complaint with the Seattle Human Rights Commission to try and have the policy revoked.
They are accusing Taking B(l)ack Pride of racial discrimination.
“We consider this reverse discrimination in its worse [sic] form and we feel we are being attacked for not supporting due to disparaging and hostile e-mails,” Capitol Hill Pride directors Philip Lipson and Charlette LeFevre jointly wrote in a letter shared to Twitter.
Organizers then called on the Seattle Human Rights Commission to intercede, saying the policy violated “Seattle, King County and Federal equality laws.”
However, the commission did not agree with their claims, stating that “the unique nature of your situation does not in fact violate any of your human rights as stated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.”
“Black trans and queer peoples are among the most marginalized and persecuted peoples with the LGBTQIA2S+ community,” said in the statement shared on social media.
The statement adds: “They often face shame not only from the cis-heteronormative community, but within the queer community at large as well. In making the event free for the Black Queer community, the organizers of this event are extending a courtesy so rarely extended; by providing a free and safe space to express joy, share story [sic] and be in community.”