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LGBTQ Organizations Unite to Combat Racial Violence

The Montrose Center’s mission is to empower and uplift all members of the LGBTQ+ community. For over 40 years, our diverse staff has provided for the most vulnerable members of our community, often when nobody else would. In a culture where people of color experience greater risks to their mental and physical health, police violence, intimate partner abuse, and all forms of discrimination, we support and fight alongside all efforts to combat overt and covert racism. We recognize that people of color, especially transgender Black women, are far more likely to bear the brunt of the toxic institutions of white supremacy and patterns of police brutality, and in this moment, we must stand in solidarity with our Black community members.

Today, we maintain our mission to empower the LGBTQ+ community by joining 300+ national and statewide LGBTQ+ organizations in committing to combat racial violence and speak out against systemic racism.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate. And, today, they should serve as a call to action to all of us, and to the Movement for LGBTQ equality.

This spring has been a stark and stinging reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy — justice, equality, liberty.  

  • We listened to the haunting pleas of George Floyd for the most basic of human needs simply, breath — as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled with cruel indifference on his neck.
  • We felt the pain of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend as he called 9-1-1 after plainclothes Louisville police kicked down the door of their home and shot her eight times as she slept in her bed.
  • We watched the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery by white vigilantes in Brunswick, GA, aware that they evaded the consequence of their actions until the video surfaced and sparked national outrage.
  • We saw the weaponizing of race by a white woman who pantomimed fear in calling the police on Christian Cooper, a Black gay man bird-watching in Central Park.
  • We have heard and read about the killings of transgender people — Black transgender women in particular — with such regularity, it is no exaggeration to describe it as a epidemic of violence. This year alone, we have lost at least 12 members of our community: Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, and Tony McDade.

All of these incidents are stark reminders of why we must speak out when hate, violence, and systemic racism claim — too often with impunity — Black Lives.

The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?

Many of our organizations have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further — that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.

We, the undersigned, recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.

We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don’t matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.

A Wider Bridge, Alan Schwartz and Arthur Slepian, CEO & Board Chair and Founder
ACLU, James Esseks, Director, LGBT & HIV Project
Affirmations, Dave Garcia, Executive Director
AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Aisha N. Davis, Director of Policy
American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Micah Kubic, Executive Director
American Institute of Bisexuality, Ian Lawrence-Tourinho, Executive Director
Annapolis Pride, Jeremy Browning, Founder & Chair
Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaborative, Tonya Estell, Board of Directors
Atlanta Pride Committee, Jamie Fergerson, Executive Director
AVOL Kentucky, Jon Parker, Executive Director
BAGLY, Inc. (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth), Grace Sterling Stowell, Executive Director
Basic Rights Oregon, Nancy Haque, Executive Director
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), Jeffrey Kosbie, Co-Chair
Bayard Rustin Coalition, Lawrence Shine, Co-Chair
Beth Chayim Chadashim , Juval Porat, Cantor
Bi Women Quarterly, Robyn Ochs, Editor
Bi+ Georgia, Dan Wilson, Lead Organizer
Bi+ Pride Milwaukee, Amy Luettgen, Organizer
Big Apple Performing Arts/New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Lisa Reilly, Executive Director
BiLaw, Nancy Marcus, Co-Founder
Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center, Gabrielle Antolovich, Board President
BiPOL San Francisco, Ms. Lani Ka’ahumanu
Bisexual Organizing Project – BOP, Leah Yoemans, Chair
Bisexual Resource Center, Belle Haggett Silverman, President – Board of Directors
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Adrian Shanker, Executive Director
Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Floyd Rumohr, CEO
Broward House, Inc, Stacy Hyde, CEO
Cache Pride Center, Cassandra Seikkula, Program Director
CAMP Rehoboth , David Mariner, Executive Director
Campaign for Southern Equality, Adam Polaski, Communications Director
Campus Pride, Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director
Capital Pride Alliance, Ryan Bos, Executive Director
Cathedral Of Hope UCC, Rev. Dr. Neil G Thomas, Senior Pastor
Center on Halsted, Modesto Valle, CEO
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Denise Spivak, CEO
Citrus Pride, Chuck Higgins , President
Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, Dara Adkison, President
Community Education Group, A.Toni Young, Executive Director
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi
Contigo Fund, Marco Antonio Quiroga, Director
Curve Magazine, Merryn Johns, Editor-in-Chief
Diocese of Southern Ohio, Rev deniray mueller, Legislative Liaison
Diversity Center, Santa Cruz County, Sharon Esther Papo, Executive Director
Edutechnologic, Brad Henry, CEO
elizabeth f schwartz, p.a., attorney & activist
Equality Arizona, Michael Soto, Executive Director
Equality Business Alliance, Eddie Reynoso, Executive Director
Equality California, Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director
Equality Delaware, Mark Purpura, Director
Equality Federation, Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director
Equality Florida, Nadine Smith, Executive Director
Equality Illinois, Brian Johnson, CEO
Equality Michigan, Erin Knott, Executive Director
Equality NC, Kendra R Johnson, Executive Director
Equality Nevada, Chris Davin, President
Equality New Mexico, Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director
Equality New York, Amanda Babine, Executive Director
Equality Ohio, Alana Jochum, Executive Director
Equality Texas, Ricardo Martinez, CEO
Equality Virginia, Vee Lamneck, Executive Director
EqualityMaine, Matt Moonen, Executive Director
Fair Wisconsin, Megin McDonell, Executive Director
Fairness Campaign, Tamara Russell, Board Member
Family Equality, Denise Brogan-Kator, Chief Policy Officer
Fenway Health, Ellen LaPointe, CEO
Fierté Fredericton Pride, Amelia Thorpe, Co-Chair
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Nik Harris, LGBTQ Consumer Advocate
Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, Stephen Gaskill, President
FORGE,  Inc., Loree Cook-Daniels, Policy and Program Director
Free Mom Hugs, Katrina Kalb, Executive Director
Freedom for All Americans, Kasey Suffredini, CEO & National Campaign Director
Freedom Oklahoma, Allie Shinn, Executive Director
FreeState Justice, Mark Procopio, Executive Director
GAAMC, Gordon Sauer, President
Garden State Equality, Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director
Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, Fred Swanson, Executive Director
Gay Resources of the Ozarks, LLC, Brian C. Vega, LPC, NCC, Owner
Gay USA TV, Ann Northrop and Andy Humm, Co-Hosts
Gender Rights Maryland, Sharon Brackett, Board Chair
Gender Spectrum, Joel Baum, Senior Director
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network), Geoffrey Winder & Ginna Brelsford, Co-Executive Directors
Georgia Equality, Jeff Graham, Executive Director
Get The Vote Out, Brad Henry, Founder
GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO
GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz, Gloria Nieto, Board member
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Janson Wu, Executive Director
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Hector Vargas, Executive Director
GLSEN, Eliza Byard, Executive Director
GLSEN Southern Nevada, Trevor Harder, Co- Chair
GMHC, Kelsey Louie, CEO
GO Magazine , Dayna Troisi, Managing Editor
GSAFE, Brian Juchens, Co-Director
Harvey Milk Festival, Inc, Shannon Fortner, Executive Director
Have A Gay Day, Michael Knote , Executive Director
Heartland Equality, Dustin Havens, Director of Operations
Henderson Equality Center, Chris Davin, Executive Director
Hetrick-Martin Institute, Thomas Krever, CEO
Hetrick-Martin Institute: New Jersey, Lillian Rivera, Executive Director
Hudson Pride Center, Elizabeth Schedl, Chief Operations Officer
Human Rights Alliance – Santa Fe, NM, Kevin A. Bowen, President
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, Executive Director
Immigration Equality, Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director
Ingersoll Gender Center, Karter Booher, Executive Director
Inside Out Youth Services, Jessie Pocock, Executive Director
InterPride, Julian Sanjivan and Andrew Baker, Co-Presidents
It Gets Better Project, Brian Wenke, Executive Director
Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S, Executive Director
Keshet, Idit Klein, President & CEO
Lambda Legal, Kevin Jennings , CEO
Left of Center Productions, Linda Lewis, Entertainment Agent
Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective, Inc., Shaunya Thomas, Co – Founder / President
LGBT Bar Association of New York, Eric Lesh, Executive Director
LGBT Caucus of the California Democratic Party, Tiffany Woods and Lester Aponte, Co-Chairs
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, Phyllis Seven Harris, Executive Director
LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Mike Thompson, CEO
LGBT Equality Alliance of Chester County, Don Davis, President
LGBT Life Center, Stacie Walls, CEO
LGBTQ Center OC, Peg Corley, Executive Director
LGBTQ Center of Bay County Inc., Cindy Wilker, President
LGBTQ Community Center of Southern Nevada, John Waldron, CEO
LGBTQ Victory Fund & LGBTQ Victory Institute , Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO
LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County, Betty Jacobs, Founder/Executive Director
LHI Houston, Ann J. Robison, PhD, Executive Director
Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth, Robert Vitelli, Executive VP/COO
Long Island LGBT Center, Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, Vice-President,  External Affairs
Los Angeles Bi Task Force, Mimi Hoang, Co-Founder
Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lorri L. Jean, CEO
Louisiana Trans Advocates, Peyton Rose Michelle, Director of Operations
Lower Columbia Q Center, Jim Summers, Vice Chair
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director
MassEquality, Tanya V. Neslusan, Executive Director
Math4cure, Karen Young, Executive Director
Matthew Shepard Foundation, Jason Marsden, Executive Vice President
Me Too Springfield, Jordan Harris, President
Methodist Federation for Social Action, Bridget Cabrera, Executive Director
Movement Advancement Project, Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director
Nashville Pride, Phil Cobucci, Community Affairs
National Black Justice Coalition , David Johns, Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights, Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director
National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, Executive Director
National Equality Action Team (NEAT), Brian Silva, Founder & Executive Director
National LGBT Bar Association and Foundation, D’Arcy Kemnitz, Executive Director
National LGBTQ Task Force, Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP), Rochelle Diamond, Chair
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) , Glenn D. Magpantay, Executive Director
National Trans Visibility March, Apyphanie Barnhill, Asst. National Strategy Director
National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment, Jowharah Sanders, Executive Director
New York City Anti-Violence Project, Beverly Tillery, Executive Director
New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Lisa Reilly, Executive Director
New York LGBT Network, David Kilmnick, President/CEO
NMAC, Paul Kawata, ED
North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, Barry Nelson, Organizer
North Jersey Pride, C.J. Prince, Executive Director
North Shore Alliance of GLBT Youth, Stephen Harrington, Executive Director
Northwest Arkansas Equality,  Inc., Joseph Porter, President,  Board of Directors
Oakland LGBTQ Community Ctr., Joe Hawkins , CEO
Oasis Legal Services, Ari Jones, Staff Attorney and Outreach Coordinator
OCTOPUS LLC (Organizing Communities Transgender Outreach Promoting United Support), Kimberly Sue Griffiths, Executive Director
One Colorado, Daniel Ramos, Executive Director
One Iowa, Courtney Reyes, Executive Director
One Orlando Alliance, Jennifer Foster, Executive Director
One-n-ten, Nate Rhoton, Executive Director
onePULSE Foundation, Barbara Poma, CEO
Our Family Coalition, Sam Ames, Interim Executive Director
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Erin Uritus, CEO
Out Boulder County, Mardi Moore, Executive Director
Out in STEM, Cortland Russell, President & CEO
Out in the Open, HB Lozito, Executive Director
Out Leadership, Todd Sears, Founder & CEO
Out on Film LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Craig Hardesty and Jim Farmer, Board Chair and Festival Director
OutFront Kalamazoo, Amy Hunter, Executive Director
OutFront Minnesota, Monica Meyer, Executive Director
OutNebraska, Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director
OutRight Action International, Daina Rudusa, Senior Communications Manager
Outright Vermont, Dana Kaplan, Executive Director
OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Victor Gimenez, Executive Director
OUTspoken Leaders, Jacob Kniep, Executive Director
Pacific Center for Human Growth, Michelle Gonzalez, Executive Director
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Rand Hoch, President and Founder
Peer Support Space, Dani, Dandelion Hill, Director of Peer Services
PFLAG Los Angeles, Steve Krantz, Vice President
PFLAG National, Brian K. Bond, Executive Director
PFLAG NYC, Drew Tagliabue, Executive Director
PFLAG South Miami, Jennifer Solomon, President PFLAG South Miami Chapter
Plexus LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Amanda Cole, Executive Director
Point Foundation, Jorge Valencia, Executive Director & CEO
PRC, Brett Andrews, CEO
Pride at Work, Jerame Davis, Executive Director
Pride Center of the Capital Region, Martha Harvey, Executive Director
Pride Center Of Vermont, Mike Bensel, Executive Director
Pride Fund 1, Densil R Porteous, CEO
Project No Labels, CLAIRE ELISAN, Founder / CEO
Project PRIDE Sarasota, Joshua Beadle, Co-Founder & Executive Director
PROMO, Stephen Eisele, Executive Director
Proud Haven Inc, Debbie Scotto, Co-Founder
Q Center, James K. Phelps,  ACFRE, Interim Executive Director
QLatinx, Christopher J. Cuevas, Executive Director
Queens LGBT Center (QCenter), JR Cehonski, Director of Programs
Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, Kiku Johnson, Executive Director
Rainbow Mobile, Bryan Fuenmayor, Executive Director
Reformed Catholic Church, Chris Carpenter, Presiding Bishop
Resource Center, Cece Cox, CEO
Rockland County Pride Center, Brooke Malloy, Executive Director
Rose Dynasty Foundation, Inc., Jason DeShazo, President
RUSA LGBT, Yelena Goltsman, Founder and Co-President
Ruth Ellis Center, Inc., Jerry Peterson, Executive Director
Sacramento LGBT Community Center, David Heitstuman, CEO
Safe Schools Action Network, Shannon Cuttle, Director
Safe Schools South Florida, Scott Galvin, Executive Director
SAGE, Michael Adams, CEO
SAGE Jersey City, Gordon Sauer, Affiliate Leader
SAGE Metro Detroit, Angie Perone, Executive Director
SAGE New Orleans – NOAGE, Jim Meadows, Executive Director
SAGE Upstate, Leslie Lamb, Program Administrator
San Diego Pride,, Executive Director
San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Joe Hollendoner, CEO
San Francisco Community Health Center, Lance Toma, Chief Executive Officer
SAVE – Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, Orlando Gonzales, Executive Director
Sero Project, Sean Strub, Executive Director
SF LGBT Center, Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director
Shenandoah LGBTQ Center, Emily Sproul, Executive director
Side by Side VA, Inc., Ted Lewis, Executive Director
Silver State Equality, André C. Wade, State Director
Solano Pride Center, Jonathan Cook, Executive Director
South Orange Middle School, Johanna Barnhart, Dr.
Still Bisexual, Nicole Kristal, President
Stonewall Columbus, Gerry Rodriguez, President of the Board of Trustees
Stonewall Democratic Club, Drexel Heard II, Community Vice-President
Stonewall Sports Cleveland, Patty Hace, Board Chair
TargetCue, Cathy Renna, Principal
TBuddy, Dani Farrell, Founder & CEO
Tennessee Equality Project, Chris Sanders, executive director
The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, Pauline Green, Executive Director
The Bros in Convo Initiative, Daniel J. Downer, Executive Director
The DC Center for the LGBT Community, Rehana Mohammed, Board Chair
The Diversity Center, Sharon E Papo, Executive Director
The Gala Pride and Diversity Center, Michelle Call, Executive Director
The Karpel Group, Craig Karpel, President
The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (NY), Glennda Testone, Executive Director
The LGBT Bar Association of New York, Eric Leah, Executive Director
The LGBT Center of Greater Reading, Michelle Dech, Executive Director
The LGBT Center, NYC, Reg Calcagno, Senior Director of Government Affairs
The LGBT Pink Panthers Movement, Faith Alastair, President
The LGBTQ Center Long Beach, Porter Gilberg, Executive Director
the Montrose Center, Ann J. Robison, PhD, Executive Director
The Pride Center at Equality Park, Robert Boo, CEO
The Pride Center of Maryland, Mimi Demissew, Executive Director
The Pride Network, Jacob Rudolph, Executive Director
The San Diego LGBT Community Center, Cara Dessert, CEO
The Source LGBT+ Center, Brian Poth, Executive Director
The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, Stacy Lentz, CEO
The Trevor Project, Amit Paley, CEO
Trans In Color, Dani Farrell, Founder & CEO
Transgender Children’s Legal Defense Fund, Benjamin Cooper, President of the Board
Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Emmett Schelling, Executive Director
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Andy Marra, Executive Director
Transgender Michigan, Susan Crocker, Operations Director
TransInclusive Group, Inc, Tatiana Williams, Executive Director
TransNewYork, Gennifer herley, Executive Director
TransOhio, James Knapp, Chair & Executive Director
TriVersity Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Steven Teague, Executive Director
True Colors United, Gregory Lewis, Executive Director & CEO
True Colors, Inc., Robin McHaelen, Executive Director
Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Unity Coalition|Coalicion unida, Herb Sosa, Director & CEO
Uptown Gay & Lesbian Alliance (UGLA), Carl Matthes, President
Utah Pride Center, Robert Moolman, Executive Director
Visuality, Inc., Arlene Goldberg, Vice President,  Board of DIrectors
Voices4, Oliver Fuhrmann, Lead Organizer
Waves Ahead & SAGE PR, Wilfred Labiosa, Executive Director
We Matter Winchester, William Wright, Administrator
William Way LGBT Community Center,  Philadelphia, Chris Bartlett, Executive Director
Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition, Ben Andert, Core Team member
Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Ricci Levy, President & CEO
Wynwood Pride, Anna Margarita Albelo, Executive Director
Wyoming Equality, Sara Burlingame, Executive Director
Youth Seen, tara jae, Executive Director


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