An open letter for & by LBTQIA+ Orgs

This open letter outlines the need for us as LGBTQIA+ / Queer groups to stand up with black communities, the Black Lives Matter movement and commit to Anti Racism in all of its forms. We call on all LGBTQIA+ organisations, businesses, community groups, charities and more to sign this letter and take an active step in dismantling racism.

Sign the letter here: https://forms.gle/osuwj21Uu6jqNJrA7 

Dear friends

We, the signatories of this letter, are writing to condemn systemic racial violence, white supremacy and violent enforcement of oppressive laws (including police brutality). As LGBTQIA+ organisations, groups and communities we want to make a long term and tangible commitment to Anti Racism.

We know that there would be no LGBTQIA+ liberation movement without black activists, from Stonewall and beyond. Black activists have been at the heart of queer liberation, and galvanised the fight for liberation and equality for all LGBTQIA+ people. 

We also recognise that there is a significant overlap between queer and black communities, particularly within trans and bi communities, and that black queer people face an immensely large scale oppression due to the intersection of racism, anti-blackness, queerphobia, cisnormativity, intersexism, and misogynoir. 

We want to make it clear that we cannot continue to fight for LGBTQIA+ people, without fighting for the liberation of all people, including our black siblings. We stand in solidarity with those in the US and in the UK risking their safety, fighting for justice for George Floyd, for Trayvon Martin, for Stephen Lawrence, for Belly Mujinga, for every black person who has been harmed by the racist systems that continue to use violence and force against our black friends.

We recognise that the UK is a deeply racist state, and it is by no means better than the US in any way. From the black essential workers disproportionately dying of COVID because of government incompetence to the black people starved by austerity, deliberately killed in police custody or deported to their deaths by the Home Office, black communities in the UK are still constantly fighting for justice and safety.

It is our duty as queer people to be actively Anti Racist and to constantly fight against Anti Blackness in all of its forms. Not only is it the right thing to do, but because these struggles impact us all. Our shared fight is rooted in British colonialism, white supremacy, cis supermacy and capitalism. We must strive to break down and dismantle the systems that hold us all back.

As Queer organisations, we make the following commitments to being Anti Racist and dismantling anti blackness:

  • We will ensure each of our organisations has transparent, easy to access internal Anti Racism policies and that we challenge racism every step of the way, even when it is uncomfortable
  • We will ensure that all members of our organisations take active and meaningful steps to Anti Racism education
  • We will be active in politically supporting black liberation movements, communities, organisations, activists and initiatives regardless of whether they are LGBTQIA+ specific because we must fight for the liberation of all
  • We will ensure that black professionals, creators and educators are meaningfully (as opposed to tokenistically) prioritised in any events that we host or have influence over
  • We commit to the sharing, supporting and promoting the work of black communities, organisations and activists, including support with fundraising
  • We promise to prioritise, whenever possible, the voices, labour, and hiring of black people, and to pay them for their work

We encourage everyone reading this letter to adopt these principles in their own organisations and do whatever else they can to fight against racism and to protect black lives. Join us in making this commitment, and sign this letter here: https://forms.gle/osuwj21Uu6jqNJrA7 

For those of us in the UK, we recommend working your way through this resource, provided by BLM, as a starting point: https://linktr.ee/blacklivesmatter

Signed in solidarity, 

  1. Bi Survivors Network, Lo Shearing (Founder)
  2. London Bi Pandas, Hunter Maalik (Co-Founder)
  3. Biscuit, Libby Baxter-Williams (Director)
  4. The Bisexual Index, Marcus Morgan (Chair)
  5. The Outside Project and STAR Refuge, Carla Ecola (Founder Director)
  6. Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre, Lukasz Konieczka (Executive Director)
  7. Gay Liberation Front, Stuart Feather (Activist)
  8. Peter Tatchell Foundation, Peter Tatchell (Director)
  9. Gendered Intelligence, Jay Stewart (CEO)
  10. akt, Tim Sigsworth (CEO)
  11. Galop, Leni Morris (CEO)
  12. Tags, Roberta Francis (CEO)
  13. DIVA magazine, Carrie Lyell (Editor-in-chief)
  14. Diversity Trust, Berkeley Wilde (Director)
  15. The Proud Trust, Amelia Lee (Strategic Director)
  16. The Kite Trust, Pip Gardner (CEO)
  17. Pride in London, Rhammel O’Dwyer-Afflick (Director)
  18. Black Trans Alliance, Christopher Deshields (Exec Director)
  19. Bi Pride UK, Abigail Kay – signing as the Trustees (Chair of the Trustees)
  20. Trans Pride South West, Ollie Tarbuck (Committee Member)
  21. Deptford Pride, Peter Collins (Co-director)
  22. Guildhall Pride, Lizzie Baumberg (Co-President)
  23. Bi Cymru / Wales, Ele Hicks (Committee Member and Founder)
  24. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Dave Cross (Events Manager)
  25. Matchstick Pie House, Dominic Spillane (Venue Manager)
  26. Eagle Bar Manchester, Andrew Underwood (Director)
  27. The Chateau, Laurie Belgrave (Founder & Director)
  28. Purple Rain Collective, Tobi Adebajo (Organiser / Facilitator)
  29. Femmes of Colour, Tobi Adebajo (Organiser / Facilitator)
  30. Bar Wotever, Lysander Dove (Manager)
  31. Bar Wotever, Shakona Fire (Resident Artist Co-ordinator)
  32. Haus of Royalz, Veronica Montenegro (Producer / Co Founder / Talent)
  33. Fetlesque (Cyanide & Method), Holly Hodgson-Simmons & Ash Hodgson-Simmons (Founders & Producers of Fetlesque)
  34. Cabaret Sauvignon, Dolly Trolley (Producer and Curator)
  35. Drag Aerobics, Dolly Trolley (Host / Instructor / Producer)
  36. Veronica Montenegro, Jorge Veronica Ardila (Talent)
  37. Samael’s Spell Shop (Queer Witch Shop), Samuel Sprunt (Owner)
  38. Pigeon + Bear Productions, Ollie Tarbuck (Co Producer / Promoter)
  39. Brizzle Boyz, Ollie Tarbuck (Co Producer)
  40. Scritch Cabaret, Ollie Tarbuck (Co Producer)
  41. Phantasmaglorious, Emma Glithero (Producer)
  42. Riposte, Eden (Co Organiser)
  43. Queers & Co., Gem Kennedy (Founder)
  44. The London Queer DJ Collective, Kay Holford (Founder)
  45. Quarantine Queens, Ellie Macdonald (Founder & Resident DJ)
  46. Queerspace East (Collective)
  47. Drag What‽, Lx Electric (Human Resources / Performer)
  48. Through MelanEyes, Mx Romeo De La Cruz (Creator & Curator)
  49. United Shapes of Drag, Carrot (Collaborative Producer, Co-founder)
  50. London Bi Fest, Katy Harrad (Organiser)
  51. God Save The Kings, Dandy Issues (Producer / Host)
  52. Bears Against Bigotry, Kevin O’Neill (Founder)
  53. London Trans, Non Binary, Queer Friendship Group, Rebeckah Turbett (Organiser)
  54. Bi-Panic! Southampton, Jessica Haynes (Coordinator)
  55. Queer Tour of London, Mazharul Islam (Tour Guide)
  56. Surrey Rainbow Choir, Christopher Wray (MD)
  57. Laughing Labia, Alice Frick (Founder / Manager)
  58. OxPHWOARd, Ginger Tart (Co-Producer and Host)
  59. Oxfordshire Drag Collective, Ginger Tart (Founder)
  60. Ellen and Edie Present, Niamh Morrison (Co-Producer)
  61. Crayola’s Madhouse, Crayola (Producer and Host)
  62. Cabaret Roulette, Crayola (Producer)
  63. Bi and Beyond Edinburgh, Louise Hipwell (Co-founder)
  64. Birmingham LGBT, steph keeble (Director)
  65. Queer Street, Grace Claydon (Founder)
  66. MumsN*t Comedy Collective, Reece Connolly (Co-Founder)
  67. Quiplash, Amelia Lander-Cavallo (Co-artistic director)
  68. Quiplash, Al Lander-Cavallo (Co-artistic director)
  69. Oxford Brookes University LGBTQ+ Staff Forum, Sarah King (Student Investigation and Resolutions Officer)
  70. Andro & Eve, Katherine Warman (CEO / Creative Producer)
  71. Space Youth Project, Eli Moore (Office and Creative Manager)
  72. Courtauld LGBTQ+ Society, Cas Bradbeer (Co-leader)
  73. Dragprov, Eaton Messe and Christian Adore (Co-founders)
  74. Scottish Bi+ Network, Lorna Ward (Chair and Co-founder)
  75. Friends of the Joiners Arms, Amy Roberts (Chair)
  76. Queer Fiction, Lily Luty (Artistic Director)
  77. Muslim LGBT Network, Ejel Khan (Coordinator)
  78. Queermunity Magazine, Sam Watts (Operations Manager)
  79. MRSpride, Michael Albert Brown (Chair)
  80. European Pride Organisers Association, Kristine Garina (President)
  81. Copenhagen 2021, Steve Taylor (Director of Communications)
  82. ICONIQ, Rafael Moura (Co-founder)
  83. SAYiT, Steve Slack (CEO)
  84. Dragged Around London, Daljeet Singh (Co-Founder)
  85. The Art Of Drag, Michael Twaits (Director)
  86. ANTICS.wow, Asher Fynn (Producer, Host)
  87. E.D.E.N. Film Productions, Claire Watkinson (Managing Director)
  88. Get In Her Ears, Natasha Walker (Director and Co-Founder)
  89. London Bisexuals Meetup Group, John G (Organiser)
  90. Revolting Queers, Mx Anthropie (Co-Founder)
  91. UCL LGBT+ Network, Jemima Barnes (LGBTQ+ Officer)
  92. Steel City Queer History Project, Suzanne (Researcher)
  93. The LOL Word, Chloe Green (Co-Creator)
  94. Southend Pride, Sam Adams (Chair)
  95. Milton Keynes Pride Festival, Helen Pritchard (Director)
  96. Mishti Dance, Isuru Perera (Curator/ Founder)
  97. The F-Word, Lusana Taylor (Rotating Editor)
  98. GayGlos LGBTQ+ Youth Social Group, Ian Vesty (Leader Youth Volunteer Team member)
  99. Haus of Falls Presents, Misty Falls (Co-founder and Haus mother)
  100. LGBTQIA+ Greens, Benali Hamdache (Co-Chair)
  101. Fat Life Drawing, Isobel Cameron (Co-Founder)
  102. We Do Good Disco, Anna Rosa Astell (Discoproneur)
  103. Open Table Network, Kieran Bohan (Network Coordinator)
  104. Bristol Queer Listings, Chris Hubley (Founder)
  105. MX-Ellaneous, Lily Konteh / Mariana Trench (Producer and performer)
  106. Brizzle Boyz, Mx-Ellaneous cabaret, Vander Moule (Co-Producer)
  107. Rainbow Films, Blaise Singh (Project Manager)
  108. Non-binary London, Ynda Jas (Founder)
  109. Join the rest of the LGBTQIA + Community by signing the letter here

All other signatories:

  • Queers against racism, Gemma-Marie Everest (Supporter)
  • London Bi Pandas, Krista (Supporter)
  • London Bi Pandas, Carlie Siroko (Member)
  • Ang
  • Marie Robinson
  • London Bi pandas, Sabrina BRONWYN Parker
  • Trans Rights, Non Binary rights, Trans kids rights, Morgaen Warner (Student)
  • LGBTQIA+ Greens, Kelza Pilkington (Member)

This initiative is currently being facilitated by the Bi Survivor’s Network and the London Bi Pandas.