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Message from Dominique (July 2018)

Hello Family,

I’m sitting in my car listening to Fantasia’s version of the song “You Are Always On My Mind”. It’s very appropriate for there my mind has been the last six months.This ride of being at the head of this organization is something I couldn’t have planned for—but it’s been amazing.

As we think back on Pride month, more than ever what Black & Pink stands for and who are are evolving as is at the forefront of my mind. I think of the evolution of my understanding of Pride. Coming out at 14 years old in Omaha, NE— my exposure to queer culture was minimal. Honestly it was going to Prison that opened my mind to the spectrum of queerness. The Queens walking the yard, the trade pretending they weren’t living for us lol. My good Judy Carla was transgender. I remember when she explained that to me and at 19 I really didn’t understand but she was my sister so if she wanted to be referred to as she then that’s what we were going to do. I often advocated for her with staff and the administration. I even went toe to toe with her husband who was being too rough with her. Prison taught me that Pride meant unity. We ate together, we laughed together and cried together. Group survival.

I was shocked when I came home in 2009 and realized that Pride in the community was a different creature. Bars, parades and cliques. Where was the solidarity? I think that’s why I joined our Pride organization here in Omaha. I wanted to build the unity I experienced inside. It never quite came together. However, I’m grateful for the experience and introduction to non profit and organizing it gave me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

So for Pride month I ask y’all to lean on each other. Stand closer together. Find strength in each other. That’s what Pride is about. Women of color and drag queens in the streets saying no more shoulder to shoulder changing the world for us. Queer folks continue to shape the world whether it be outside the walls or inside. We are change makers. We are revolutionaries. We are Pride.

Pride exists because of a woman.

Pride exists because of a black woman.

Pride exists because black trans woman.

Pride exists because of a black trans woman who was a sex worker.

Pride exists because of a black, bisexual trans woman who was a sex worker that threw a brick at a cop.

Pride exists because of a black, bisexual trans woman, who was a sex worker, that put herself on the front lines of a revolution – regardless of the consequences to herself.

Don’t lose this month in rainbow capitalism and unabashed racism because the privilege of being white while queer.

Queerness doesn’t cure white guilt and racism.

If you aren’t supporting the queer people of color, trans woman, and queer sex workers, you aren’t celebrating pride, you are celebrating rainbow capitalism and police brutality.

Marsha P. Johnson gave us this season, make her proud.

Dominique

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