'Free' LGBTQ+ Pride Event in Seattle to Charge White People 'Reparation Fees'
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‘Free’ LGBTQ+ Pride Event in Seattle to Charge White People ‘Reparation Fees’

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(Image: iStock/Pollyana Ventura)

White attendees will have to pay $50 in “reparation fees” if they want to attend a Seattle Black LGBTQ+ Pride event at Jimi Hendrix Park, The New York Daily News reported.

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Taking place on Saturday, June 26, the “Taking B(l)ack Pride” aims as being a safe space for Black and brown members of the LGBTQ+ community and a source to lift up their “voices, narratives, and contributions.”

“All are free to attend HOWEVER this is a BLACK AND BROWN QUEER TRANS CENTERED, PRIORITIZED, VALUED, EVENT,” organizers pointed out on the Seattle Pride website.

“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 description continued.

Although the intent of the organization is to bring awareness to Black and brown LGBTQ+ lives, the perception of charging non-Black and brown people is being seen by some as discrimination.

“We will never charge admission over the color of a person’s skin and resent being attacked for standing in those values,” the statement concluded.

However, the execution of a reparation fee would be widely considered by the Capitol Hill Pride group as a violation of ethics.

“We consider this reverse discrimination in its worse [sic] form and we feel we are being attacked for not supporting due to disparaging and hostile e-mails,” Capitol Hill Pride directors Philip Lipson and Charlette LeFevre both wrote in a letter posted on Twitter.

Lipson and LeFevre have also called upon the Seattle Human Rights Commission to weigh in on the situation, but to their chagrin, the Seattle Human Rights Commission agrees with the reparation fees.

“The unique nature of your situation does not in fact violate any of your human rights as stated in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights,” Seattle HRC said on Twitter. “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 [sic] and be in community,” the commission wrote.

 

 

The commission turned the tables on Lipson and LeFevre, asking them what rights the reparation fees infringe upon and asked the duo to “examine the very real social dynamics and ramifications of this issue.”

 


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