Updated: Mar 23
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Options condemns incidences of brutality and murder perpetrated by police against the Black community. The LGBTQ+ community has long been familiar with discrimination, hostility, and unequal treatment under the law. While this affords those who are white or white-passing a measure of empathy with people of color, white LGBTQ+ people can only begin to understand the harmful impact of four centuries of systemic racism, proving especially deadly to trans people of color. One need only look at the murders of Dominique Rem'mie Fells, Riah Milton, Tony McDade, and many others to know how much more work needs to be done.
While outrage is an appropriate and natural emotional response to the events of the past few weeks, we encourage all individuals, especially those with institutional advantages, to respond with action. Join protests and marches (with a mask of course), and lift up the voices of those who have been silenced for too long. Donate your time, money, and effort to make change happen here in our own community. Here are several local anti-racist organizations that would benefit from your support and financial resources toward dismantling systemic racism:
Sista Fire RI (WOC building power for social, economic, and political transformation),
Nonviolence Institute (Fostering community to address potentially violent situations with nonviolent solutions).
To educate yourself on how to confront racism when you encounter it, check out these resources from Amnesty International and the Southern Poverty Law Center. And for our readers who personally face racism daily, here is a New York Times resource regarding micro-aggressions.
Options acknowledges that the progress made for LGBTQ+ rights over the past 51 years, since the Stonewall uprising, would not have happened without black LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color, and straight allies. We thank these important voices for doing the work of dismantling oppression and fighting for equal rights. Like our straight allies, white individuals throughout every level of American society must educate themselves and commit to listening. Let's all maintain this momentum and work to end systemic racism, all forms of oppression, and the pain and suffering so many have endured for far too long.
We at Options re-commit to promoting an honest and open dialogue regarding the intersections of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, race, and ethnicity by including all voices in our publication. Will you join us in our mission?
Rise up. Stand out. Speak up. Be anti-racist.
The Options Team