Greater Boston PFLAG Statement on Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

To our Community, 

We, the staff and board of Greater Boston PFLAG, in response to the horrific murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, George Floyd, and Tony McDade as well as countless other lives taken at the hands of racist violence, issue this statement.

We are taking this time to say clearly that Black Lives Matter. We condemn these and all incidents of racist violence and affirm that we stand against systemic racism, police brutality, and mass incarceration. We are witnessing the consequences of the normalization of power without accountability to the communities that it serves in the wide-spread militarized police violence against peaceful protesters. We support all who work towards a more just and equitable world. As members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community, we know that civil rights move forward from unified movements of protest. Pride month itself commemorates a six-day protest against police brutality sparked from events at the Stonewall Inn that were headed by women of color, including Stormé DeLarverie, Miss Major, Sylvia Riviera, and Marsha P. Johnson.

Even as legal rights for LGBTQ+ people have progressed, the ability to exercise these rights safely and free from harassment is not and has not been available to all individuals equally. Black and other LGTBQ+ people of color experience intersectional forms of oppression, particularly Black transgender women. We know that transgender people of color are six times more likely to experience police violence than white cisgender people, among other forms of systemic violence. One cannot talk about supporting LGBTQ+ people without talking about supporting Black people and other people of color – their fight is our fight is their fight. To celebrate Pride is to stand in unity with our whole community of LGBTQ+ people and it is impossible to do so without standing with this movement.

If we are not explicitly, vocally, and actively anti-racist, then we are complicit in white supremacy. At Greater Boston PFLAG, we are actively looking within ourselves as an organization to identify and then dismantle structures of racism. We know that our organization, like so many others, has a long way to go. We want you, our community, to know that we are committed to making these changes. 

As we are taking action, we call for you to personally take action both individually and as a community member of Greater Boston PFLAG. Below are some resources to begin contacting your legislators, getting involved, and continuing to learn about how to help meet the needs and challenges facing the Black community today.

Greater Boston PFLAG has signed a letter alongside 500+ other LGBTQ+ organizations committing our movement to make “explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.” 

PFLAG National has signed a letter to congress alongside The Leadership Congress on Civil and Human Rights calling for swift and decisive legislative action on a range of policing issues. You can call on your members of congress to read and act on the points within the letter.  

The Movement for Black Lives (linked by Black Lives Matter Boston) calls for a week of action on seven points and provides clear explanations to help understand the problem, policy solutions, and specific actions you take. 

Massachusetts lawmakers and elected officials of color, along with some of their colleagues, gathered in front of the State House on Tuesday to announce a 10-point plan to address law enforcement violence and advance racial justice. The plan features four initiatives at the state level, four at the federal level, and two at the municipal level. Look up your state legislator here.

A Guide To Allyship was shared by GLAD, and is an excellent starting primer for those looking to learn what they should, and shouldn’t do, moving forward.

Join us today taking the action that saying #BlackLivesMatter demands.

Yours in Solidarity,

The Greater Boston PFLAG Staff and Board