- Who We Are / BQIC
- Why Community Pride
- Central issues
- “In the News” (5 articles)
Do You Feel Comfortable Attending Mainstream Pride?
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Who We Are
Black Queer & Intersectional Collective (BQIC) is a a coalition led by Black queer and trans people working to build a society in which Black LGBTQIA+ people from all backgrounds can thrive. We seek to dismantle systems of oppression such as the prison industrial complex, police brutality, forceful detainment of immigrants, and more through community organizing, education, and creating platforms upon which the most marginalized people can have their voices heard.
In response to the state of Stonewall Columbus and its lack of support for people of color within the LGBTQIA+ community, we are hosting Community Pride to provide an alternative Pride for those who have never felt or no longer feel welcomed by Stonewall Columbus’ Pride.
We aren’t doing this on our own; it’s through partnering with other grassroots organizations and working with organizers/volunteers that Community Pride 2019 will succeed. To volunteer on your own or as a group, fill out the signup form here.
For updates on BQIC, what we’re up to, and more, follow us on Facebook.
Why Community Pride?
At Stonewall Columbus’ 2017 Pride parade, several community members stepped out into the street with the intent of bringing public attention to the lack of safe spaces for Black and brown LGBTQIA+ folks within the larger LGBTQIA+ community. Within one minute of leaving the curb, the group was accosted by aggressive CPD officers, who assaulted them with bikes, pepper spray, and sheer force. During this altercation, four folks––all Black trans and queer individuals––were arrested. They have become known as the #BlackPride4. Click here for news coverage of the #BlackPride4.
Despite hosting the parade at which this altercation occurred and claiming to be an advocacy organization “for all” LGBTQIA+ people in Central Ohio, Stonewall Columbus not only failed to aid the #BlackPride4 after their arrest, they refused communication with them and their supporters, resisted public calls for change and resignations, and, finally, testified for the prosecution in the #BlackPride4 trials of Wriply, Kendall, and Ashley.
Stonewall Columbus’ gross failures to protect and support the #BlackPride4 and all queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC)––as well as their refusal to condemn CPD’s actions or police presence at Pride––makes it necessary to provide an alternative Pride celebration FOR the community BY the community.
In solidarity with the #BlackPride4’s initial message, Black Queer & Intersectional Collective and its partners are organizing a celebration which centers QTIPOC and those at other intersections of oppression, takes no corporate sponsorship, and outrightly fights against state-sanctioned violence.
Columbus Community Pride is focused on three central issues that inform and are informed by every aspect of Community Pride. We have compiled and consolidated these issues from conversations and meetings we had with community members prior to the first Community Pride celebration in 2018. The below points serve as guiding principles for Community Pride.
1. We center queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC) and other marginalized communities.
As made clear by Stonewall Columbus’ (SWC) lacking and tone-deaf responses to the #BlackPride4, SWC, the organization that puts on Columbus Pride, does not stand for marginalized groups in their community. Likewise, LGBTQIA+ organizations in Columbus lack an adequate amount of people of color on their boards and staff, leaving people of color unrepresented and overlooked. People of color have been shunned from the larger LGBTQIA+ community, leaving them without access to the resources that cisgender, white, upper-middle class LGBTQIA+ people have. Additionally, people who are immigrants, poor, disabled, sex workers, and of other marginalized groups face oppression from multiple angles.
By focusing on intersectionality by default, we bring to the forefront those who are often forgotten by one-dimensional movements. Community Pride 2018 puts the needs and wants of QTIPOC at the forefront in order to celebrate the lives of and provide services for QTIPOC in Central Ohio.
2. We condemn all aspects of state-sanctioned violence, including but not limited to police brutality, the prison industrial complex, job insecurity, food insecurity, unfair working conditions, and sexual assault.
The Columbus Division of Police is one of the most violent police forces in the U.S., ranking itself at the top of police departments in murdering Black people. CPD also has a history of responding with undue force to peaceful protesters. Trans people of color are killed at alarming rates in the U.S. and abroad, and too often their murderers walk away unscathed. At the same time, trans folks face housing discrimination and homelessness; one in five trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is actively forcing people out of the U.S. – primarily immigrants of color. We condemn forced deportations and support those struggling against them such as Edith Espinal, a woman who has been in sanctuary in Columbus for months to fight against unjust deportation.
Institutional forces such as those mentioned above have wreaked havoc on our communities both locally and nationally. We will not stand idly by while our siblings are harmed by the state. We will not collaborate with the Columbus Division of Police for Community Pride, and we will hire Black-owned private security to keep our community safe from institutional forces.
3. We support grassroots social justice work and community advocacy over money-hungry corporations.
Locally, we have seen that corporations that are meant to advocate for the community have continually failed us. SWC allowed the brutalization of QTIPOC by police at their Pride parade in 2017 and have done nothing to diminish the charges against the #BlackPride4. Columbus City Council, the legislative branch of the city, are meant to represent and support their constituents; However, through an appointment process that happens behind closed doors and away from public opinion, City Council evades its need to represent inhabitants of Columbus.
We have found time and time again that if we want change, it must come from the community, not organizations with corporate money and power. We will not take any corporate sponsorship for Community Pride; we solely take donations.