Dear Indy Pride Community,
The past several weeks of events are heavy on the hearts and minds of the Indy Pride Board of Directors, staff, and volunteer team. Despite the urgency of the pandemic, Black and African American people are still being killed at the hands of law enforcement. The murders of Dreasjon Reed, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others in the black, brown, trans, and queer communities that are not publically named have sparked nation-wide protests. This movement across the country over the past several days has brought the importance of centering the leadership, experiences, and voices of Black and African American people to the forefront of our discussions.
We have a responsibility to address systemic inequities as well as listen and support the brown and black community.
In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, we are cancelling all of our virtual Pride Month events in June, with the exception of the Indy Pride Virtual Festival on Saturday, June 20th, 2020. At Indy Pride, we believe that Black Lives Matter. The Indy Pride Virtual Festival will uplift black and brown people in our community, spotlight their stories, and showcase their contributions to our community.
We are intentionally using our social media platforms to amplify the voices of brown and black people.
For our black and brown siblings in the Central Indiana LGBTQ+ community, we see you. We care for you. We can only imagine the multitude of emotions you are feeling right now. We support you. We hope that you take time for rest and have access to care and support during this time.
If you identify as an ally and are wondering what you can do to support our black and brown community members and the Black Lives Matter movement right now:
- Follow Indy 10: Black Lives Matter, and follow and contact Indy SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
- Financially support Indy10: Black Lives Matter Indianapolis and The Bail Project
- Check your privilege and do the work to educate yourself on black and brown experiences and anti-racist practices through resources created by brown and black people.
- Seek out and intentionally support black and brown business owners, artists, community workers, and social justice activists.
- Engage with friends and family members who are opposed to protesters and advocate for communities of color by opposing racism.
Finally, Indy Pride is meant to be a safe place where people celebrate LGBTQ+ uniqueness, history, and build community. For many in our community who have experienced police brutality, the presence of uniformed officers and police at Pride do not create this safe environment.
As we plan for future, in-person Pride events in 2021 and beyond, Indy Pride will no longer contract with or utilize police departments for security at the Indy Pride Festival and other events, unless necessary for road closures. In those situations, they will provide support to block traffic as mandated by the city, but will not participate in the event.
Security will be provided by private security firms with the objective of maintaining a safe environment for all attendees. We know there are many in our community who are law enforcement professionals and you are welcome at our events and still part of our community; however, we respectfully request that you do not wear your uniform at the Indy Pride Festival or other events.
It is important now more than ever to remember the first Pride marches were protests against police brutality led by brown and black people. This is the time for our community to listen to communities affected by violence, to protest with them, and to support them in all ways possible.
Indy Pride, Inc.