Seattle LGBTQ+ Group Apologizes for Speaking Out Against Pride Event Charging White Attendees ‘Reparations’
Photo by Hannah Voggenhuber via Unsplash
On June 18, Capitol Hill Pride, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization which works to create awareness and support of the LGBTQAI community, spoke out against another Seattle pride event, Taking B(l)ack Pride.
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Taking B(l)ack Pride stated their event, which took place June 26 at Jimi Hendrix Park, was about “lifting the voices, narratives, and contributions of black queer and trans voices.”
“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,” they stated.
Capitol Hill Pride wrote to the Seattle Human Rights Commission stating that they consider the charging of reparations “reverse descrimination in its worse form” and “a possible ethics and elections violation.”
The Commission responded to Capitol Hill Pride, confirming that Taking B(l)ack Pride does not violate any human rights according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. They also urged the board of Capitol Hill to “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.”
The organizers of Taking B(l)ack Pride issued a statement in response to Capitol Hill’s complaint titled “The Audacity of Charlette LaFevre & Capitol Hill Pride.” The organization stated that Capitol Hill Pride director Charlette LeFevre “acted out of entitlement” and “decided to use her power and privilege as a white passing woman to elicit an emotional response & dangerous reaction from people like herself in order to create unsafe and potentially life threatening conditions for Black and Brown LGBTQIA folks.”
Taking B(l)ack Pride also called for “vendors, performers and candidates to boycott Capitol Hill Pride and not support ANY event that would contribute to white supremacist violence against Black and Brown LGBTQIA folks.”
M. Lorena González, a Seattle mayoral candidate, was one of the first to withdraw support from Capitol Hill Pride.
A wave of cancellations followed as community groups and entertainers announced that they would no longer take part in Capitol Hill Pride’s events.
Many Seattle organizations publicly voiced their support of Taking B(l)ack Pride, including the Greater Seattle Business Association, the Seattle Women’s Commission and the Seattle Dyke March.
Twitter reacted to the controversy, calling for LeFevre to confront her own racism.
Capitol Hill Pride stated that they “resent being attacked,” and apologised for their complaint, stating it was meant “to ensure equality for all.”
Taking B(l)ack Pride’s statement previously establishing that their reparations charge was an issue of equity, not equality:
“We ask that folks examine the difference between equity and equality, and strive for EQUITY. Equity recognizes that each person… has different circumstances, requiring the allocation of exact resources and opportunities to reach an equal outcome; while EQUALITY largely ignores systemic issues of race, gender/gender identity, socioeconomic class, disability status, immigration status etc.”
In an interview with National Review, LeFevre clarified their mission, stating, “We’re all inclusive, not exclusive.”Capitol Hill was praised in May for banning Seattle police officers from participating in their 2021 march and rally.