The modern LGBTQ+ movement sprung up from a series of protests, and whether they were called protests, uprisings, or riots, the history of our people has been one born out of the strength and sacrifice of those who struck out in public in order to be heard. The list of protests and groups that made our community strong is long: Compton’s Cafeteria Riots, the White Night Riots, Stonewall, Black Cat, Add the Words, ACT UP, Queer Nation, and so many more.
This week, after the culmination of numerous police killings of Black people and other acts of racist violence each year — most of which go unpunished — there were protests and riots like we haven’t seen in decades. Our staff was here in 1992 when the Los Angeles riots happened. What were they about? The same damn thing. Nearly 30 years later we’re fighting the same battle. No wonder Black people in America are tired and fed up.
The death of George Floyd (and so many others) is a reminder of the racism that is entrenched not just in the justice system but in all areas of American culture, even in the LGBTQ+ community. Black and brown folks are fighting for justice and change that is long overdue, and as a company Pride Media stands behind those protesters, and we especially stand with our Black staffers, their families, our creatives, allies, friends, clients, and neighbors.
It's our job, and one we take seriously, to amplify the voices of people of color in our outlets. It’s up to us to stand at the intersections of our movements and push them forward with our reporting. But we can and will do more to stand with Black LGBTQ+ folks, to influence others to see the pain, and to speak out against not just police brutality but also against systemic racism, social injustice, health care inequality, and more.
As a media company, we have the opportunity to take a collective stand for what’s right, but also to use our bully pulpit to advocate for those folks whose voices aren’t always heard by our readers. We also must always examine the role of our own brand choices too. We promise to fight against the insidious, often unacknowledged media bias that exists, by promoting Black creatives, combating colorism in photo shoots, never deadnaming or diminishing victims with mug shots, and providing a mentorship program so that Black employees make it to the top ranks in the company.
Pride Media’s bottom line: We stand with Black Lives Matter and all the protesters. Black LGBTQ+ Lives Matter.
Diane Anderson-Minshall is CEO and editorial director of Pride Media, publisher of The Advocate, Out, Pride, Plus, and Out Traveler.