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An Apology from OutFront Minnesota

An Apology from OutFront Minnesota

June 14, 2016

 

In the days following the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, FL, we at OutFront Minnesota mourn for everyone impacted by this tragedy. While we know this is a difficult time for all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) communities, we acknowledge that it was largely Latinx and Black folks who were most directly targeted by this atrocity. 

 

OutFront Minnesota would like to thank all who came out to the event on Sunday evening. We hoped this event would provide a healing community space for those of us who needed it. We failed. We take responsibility for the fact that this event did not meet the needs of ALL community members.

 

We want to acknowledge these mistakes.

 

One of the major criticisms of this event was that it should have been a vigil, but was transformed into a political rally. We agree. 

 

In addition: 

  • To the Latinx community members that were not included in the event, we are sorry.
  • To the people who left the event feeling more pain than when they arrived, we are sorry.
  • To the queer and trans people of color who left the event feeling unheard and unsafe, we are sorry.
  • To the speakers, particularly the Muslim speakers, whose comments were disrespected by attendees without our immediate response, we are sorry.
  • To ALL of the people of color who left feeling further tokenized, marginalized, and ostracized, we are sorry.
  • For not having a moment of silence, we are sorry.
  • For not centering the victims more visibly and respectfully, we are sorry.

This tragedy is a horrific reflection of our current reality:  queer brown and black people are the targets of homophobic, bi-phobic, and transphobic violence in greater numbers, and with greater severity, than queer white folks. Queer and trans people of color have fewer safe spaces, their organizations receive less funding, and their voices are doubly marginalized in an already marginalized community. On Sunday we contributed to the creation of a space that not only failed to be an authentic healing space for ALL community members, but one that was also less safe for Queer and Transgender People of Color (QTPOC) and contributed to the further marginalization of these voices. Our work to address white supremacy both within our organization and in the state of Minnesota is far from done.

Our failure to acknowledge the ways certain members of our community — especially Latinx queer and trans people, but also queer people of color more generally — are differently and exceptionally impacted by the shooting is unacceptable. We cannot claim to do intersectional work if this is the best we can do. We must do better. And to the brave folks who called us out on social media, we thank you for your honest and valid criticism of this event. Keep holding us accountable. We need it. 

 

 

if you have additional feedback, please email us at advocate@outfront.org

 
 

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