Parade or Protest? A Young, Black Queer Activist’s Conflicting Identities
I am a queer black teen, but never have two aspects of my identity come into more conflict than now during Pride Month.
Being amidst the shuffle of sneakers and boots on the asphalt and the roaring chant of “no justice, no peace, no racist police!” was not where I pictured myself starting Pride Month.
As a queer person and a black person, I didn’t know if I should celebrate my queer identity or hit the streets to shout and mourn the deaths of my brothers and sisters at the hands of the police. This decision is further complicated when my friends on social media subtly criticize me for doing one instead of, or before, the other.
In these difficult moments, I have to remember two things. Being queer and black are not mutually exclusive. And two, the very first Pride parades were inspired by the Stonewall Riots. Those protests, led by many queer people of color, gave me many of the freedoms I embrace today — as both a black person and a queer person.