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Black Seattle Pride Event Faces Backlash For White Attendees 'Reparations Fee'
A Seattle Pride event has plans to charge a “reparations fee” for its white attendees. The TAKING B[L]ACK PRIDE event, hosted by Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network in collaboration with Queer the Land, is reportedly not associated with Seattle Pride.
Organizes said in an event description that, “White people and their accomplices” will have to pay anywhere from $10 to $50.
Organizers say the event “is about lifting the voices, narratives, and contributions of Black queer and trans voices. It’s about centering who we are and what we need to feel empowered, joyful, and heard.”
They add, “all are free to attend, however, this is a Black and Brown Queer Trans-centered, prioritized, valued, event. White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend, but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee that will be used to keep this event free of cost for Black and Brown Trans and Queer community.”
The event has sparked some backlash.
Two pride organizers in Seattle are now apologizing for their stance on the event after writing a letter to the city and calling it “reverse discrimination.”
“It has come to our attention that an event called ‘Take B(l)ack Pride’ at the Jimi Hendrix public park June 26th is charging Whites only admission as reparations,” Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, the directors of Capitol Hill Pride, wrote to city leaders asking them to review the admissions policy.
“We consider this reverse discrimination in its worse form, and we feel we are being attacked for not supporting due to disparaging and hostile e-mails.”
But the city disagreed with LeFevre and Lipson’s assessment of the event.
“Black trans and queer peoples are among the most marginalized and persecuted peoples within the LGBTQIA2S+ community. They often face shame not only from the cis-heteronormative community but within the queer community at large as well,” the Seattle Human Rights Commission wrote. “In making the event free for the Black Queer community, the organizers of this event are extending a courtesy so rarely extended; by providing a free and safe space to express joy, share [stories], and be in community.”
The commission added, “We would like to recommend, if possible, that you educate yourself on the harm it may cause Seattle’s BIPOC community in your pursuit of a free ticket to an event that is not expressly meant for you and your entertainment.”
LeFevre and Lipson have since issued an apology on social media.
“We apologize for the inquiry to the City of Seattle regarding Take B(l)ack Pride, it was not meant to be an attack or divide but to ensure equality for all,” the two posted on Facebook on June 20. “Capitol Hill Pride encourages community events and our mission is to recognize the LGBTQ+ community and all spectrums.”