The Queer Studies Program stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and with protestors nationwide who have taken to the streets to demand justice in the face of a white supremacist system that has killed African Americans with impunity for too long. We know only too well the ongoing state violence against LGBTQ+ communities, and trans people in particular, as evidenced by the murder of Tony McDade, a black trans man killed by police on the streets of Tallahassee, Florida on May 28th, 2020. We grieve his loss alongside the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others that have unceasingly revealed the fatal realities of this country’s justice system.
June is Pride Month, marking the Stonewall uprising in June 1969, which was led by trans women of color standing up to police brutality. Their protests set off a national movement for equality. LGBTQ+ people of all races have had a history of fighting for our right to exist, to be treated equally and to challenge oppressive systems in all forms. The Queer Studies Program denounces historical instances of racism within the LGBTQ+ community and is continually working towards teaching from an anti-racist paradigm for our present and future queer communities. We teach our students to challenge norms, to work for justice and to understand that our struggles are intertwined. When one of us can’t breathe, none of us lives free. We stand in solidarity with all marginalized communities and allies who are joining together to demand systemic change, racial justice and a society where Black Lives Matter, period.