MTPC Supports The Movement Take Boston Pride Back For The Community

Trans Resistance Vigil and March, June 13, 2020.

To the Boston Pride Board of Directors, 

The Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) supports the demands of the individuals organizing with Trans Resistance of Massachusetts and Boston Pride 4 The People in envisioning a “Boston Pride” that is truly representative of our community and our values. To this end, we call upon the Boston Pride Board of Directors to resign.

We will not support or participate in any Boston Pride events until the entire board resigns, and we hope that other sibling community organizations, who share similar values, are willing to reconsider their relationship with Boston Pride as well. We hope many of us can organize to support the visions of Black and indigenous leaders for the future of Pride on the Pawtucket and Massachusett lands.

The recent, ultra-visible murders of Amaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd at the hands of the police, remind us of our responsibility to uphold and live the values of anti-racism, and to imagine and build a world where police brutality, anti-Black racism, and white supremacy is non-existent.

MTPC continues to recognize the disturbing trend of violence against Black and brown transgender people in our community. In the months of June and July alone, we have lost the lives of Brayla Stone, Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Bree Black, Tony McDade, Brian Powers, Summer Taylor, and Marilyn Cazares. The majority of whom were Black and brown transwomen of color.

We believe it is unacceptable that Boston Pride’s leaders have refused the opportunity to acknowledge and repair the harm they have caused our communities. We believe Boston Pride has actively colluded with white supremacist culture with actions including: 

removing a “#blacklivesmatter” hashtag from a public statement to appear more respectable;

refusing to name police brutality as a threat to our community; 

naming a police officer, who denigrated Black Lives Matter proudly all over social media, as a Pride marshal;

prioritizing corporate sponsors over community organizations in Pride; 

and failing to consistently address concerns of community members that have protested against Boston Pride’s ongoing lack of diversity and inclusion.

As an organization, we believe it is imperative that our work and actions be clearly tied to our values. We at MTPC understand oppression to be an imbalance of power intrinsically linked to the privileges bestowed on some at the expense of others, based on but not limited to race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship status, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, language capacity, history of incarceration, and many more identities. We believe and hold the values that our movement must be trans-led, easily accessible, and one in which we share community power to move towards collective liberation of all peoples in our communities.

In order to live our values, we believe it is a requirement that Black and indigenous, queer and trans people of color leaders be the at center of any form of Boston Pride. We believe that Black and indigenous, queer and trans people of color narratives should be the epicenter of all values that drive any events associated with Boston Pride. As a community organization, we believe that Boston Pride needs to be driven by a more broad coalition of queer and trans community organizations and individuals at the grassroots level. We as a community should never be driven towards a model of resource scarcity and accumulation of power over others. This means we believe in de-prioritizing visibility of corporations and their sponsorships, and at minimum, demanding corporate sponsors to live our values if they wish to be included in our movement. Additionally, this means the removal of police presence in Boston Pride, both physically and in terms of any symbolism used to promote law-enforcement as we do not require nor desire law enforcement presence in any form, whatsoever.

We envision Boston Pride as a site where we can build equitable, safe, and healing communities and connections. We believe Boston Pride needs to center both individual community members and the larger community including community organizations, rather than continuing to value large corporate organizations over community members.

We believe in a Boston Pride that acknowledges the tremendous work we all must still do.

We believe in a Boston Pride that remembers the historical struggle and sacrifice of our elders and ancestors whose lives and fights for equity and justice have brought us to this moment.

We believe in a Boston Pride where all members of the community can celebrate and find pride in the diversity of their identities, experiences, and expressions.

We believe in a Boston Pride where all members of the community can thrive. 

Sincerely and with hope for this vision, 

The MTPC Steering Committee

Posted on August 18, 2020