By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com April 03 2012 4:45 PM ET
As NoMoreDownLow.TV caught black celebrities commenting on the Trayvon Martin tragedy and hundreds of LGBT activists took to wearing hoodies in a show of solidarity, an unprecedented coalition of 23 of the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights organizations issued a joint open letter today about the Feb. 26 killing of the 17-year-old Florida teen — for which no arrests have been made — calling his death a "national call to action" and demanding that justice be served. The complete letter is below:
An Open Letter: Standing Alongside Trayvon Martin’s Family and Friends
The tragic killing of Trayvon Martin is a national call to action. Our hearts go out to Trayvon’s family and friends for the loss they have experienced. We stand in solidarity with them as they demand answers and justice. We represent organizations with diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituencies.
Many in our community have been targets of bigotry and bias. We have a great deal of experience grappling with the role bias plays in violent crimes against our communities. We well know the stories of young people targeted for violence just because of who they are: Rashawn Brazell, Lawrence King, Ali Forney, Deoni Jones, Brandon White, Matthew Shepard, Angie Zapata, Sean Kennedy and countless others.
Trayvon’s killing is a wakeup call to the enduring cancer of racism and racial profiling. The pain his family continues to endure transcends communities and unites us all. Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.
Trayvon’s killing is tragic and the stark reality that racial bias played a role in his death has alarmed our nation. Questions must be asked. Answers must be sought. And justice must be served. We join our voices to the chorus of so many others to demand that local and federal authorities find those answers. We stand in solidarity with Trayvon’s family and friends as they seek justice for his killing. In the timeless words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Marry
Human Rights Campaign
International Federation of Black Prides
LGBT Progress at the Center for American Progress
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Stonewall Democrats
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Pride at Work
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN)
The Trevor Project