‘Reparations’ fee for Seattle Pride event draws ‘reverse racism’ backlash

'White people and their accomplices' are expected to pay $10 to $50 to enter the Pride event, organizers announced

The Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network is charging white people a “reparations fee” to enter its Pride event in Seattle, Washington, Newsweek reports.

The organization sparked controversy after recently announcing the guidelines. Capitol Hill Pride shot back, accusing the organization of “reverse racism.” 

“TAKING B[L]ACK PRIDE 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,” said the organizers in a Facebook post.

The event is slated to take place Saturday at Jimi Hendrix Park and its goal is to ensure Black and Brown members of the LGBTQ+ community are “centered, prioritized and valued.”

“White people and their accomplices,” are expected to pay $10 to $50 to enter. The event is partnered with Queer the Land but not with Seattle Pride, which is celebrating Pride Month virtually this year.

The TWOC said it has received threats since making the announcement.

On June 20, the organization tweeted: “When we say we do NOT feel safe at pride events our experiences have necessitated the creation of our own. White men will always believe they are entitled to ALL spaces, including BIPOC spaces and when they are not wanted in those space VIOLENCE will always be the response.”

Complaints about the event to the Seattle Human Rights Commission citing “reverse racism,” from Capitol Hill Pride sparked additional controversy. The Commission responded with a comment.

“Black trans and queer peoples are among the most marginalized and persecuted peoples with the LGBTQIA2S+ community. They often face shame not only from the cis-heteronormative community but within the queer community at large as well.

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 story, and be in community,” the statement read, per Newsweek.

The Washington United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance supports the event and responded to Capitol Hill Pride via Facebook.

“We are disgusted by the actions of Capitol Hill Pride Directors, Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson, who felt emboldened to make claims of ‘reverse racism’ for the only community-led Pride event this year that truly centers and honors the kaleidoscopic lived experiences and truths of all Black, Indigenous, Brown, two-spirit, queer, trans, nonbinary, intersex, gender diverse loved ones that tend to the needs of our communities with deep care, tenderness, trust, and patience.”

Now some citizens are boycotting Capitol Hill Pride events.

 “1/2) I will no longer be attending Capitol Hill Pride after reading their letter to@SeattleHRC. After a year that has taken an unbelievable toll on all of our communities, I was looking forward to this opportunity to celebrate Pride in person,” M. Lorena González, a candidate for Seattle mayor, tweeted.

But despite the controversy, The Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network said it also requested reparations at last year’s event and that many exceeded the dollar amount requested.

“Our allies, supporters and accomplices pay our sliding scale donation ‘reparations’ because they are able to understand that as folks with privilege, equity can start with making sure that people who possess various levels of marginalization are able to have spaces that center their needs, safety, identities and contributions to LGBTQI culture,” the organization in a statement.

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