In #RaiseMKE

Pride Milwaukee kicks off Pride Month by reflecting on its roots. (PHOTO: Pride Milwaukee)

Pride Milwaukee releases statement on start of Pride Month, standing by protests

Every June 1, Milwaukee Pride begins putting on the final touches at the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds as we prepare to open the gates to PrideFest.

Since 1988, Pridefest has been a safe place for people to celebrate the Pride movement and exercise their individuality, race, culture and what Pride means to them. June 1 is also the beginning of Pride Month where we take extra time and steps to celebrate the progress, diversity and individuality of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, there may not be a festival – but now, more than ever, we must remember the importance of standing up AND continue to speak out against injustices, prejudices, and barriers that divide and hurt our communities of color.

Over 50 years ago, a riot started, and a movement began. The actions taken at The Stonewall Inn (New York City) started as protest against police brutality, injustice and marginalization and yet, today, we see the struggle continue in our community, in communities of color and in communities of faith, all overlapping much more than we may realize.

We mourn the death of George Floyd. We stand in solidarity with our communities of color. We do not accept the unjust and unfair treatment of black and brown people.

We seek change. We stand for equality. We demand action.

As LGBTQ+ folks whose Pride movement was born out of protest, we stand with you. We hear your pain and your anger. Our community stands with you in protest, and we offer our support as we strive for equality.

For those wondering how to support, we offer the following:

  • Show up to protests and support those on the frontline.
  • Listen with an intention to empathize and understand responses to violence by those directly affected.
  • Donate to organizations like Black Lives Matter and The Milwaukee Freedom Fund as their important work is heightened during these times.
  • Ask organizations how you can be most helpful, then follow through when they respond with requests for support.
  • Silence racism and other forms of bigotry in your sphere of influence.

We cannot celebrate Pride without standing with those fighting for justice and equality in our city, state, nation and world.

Together in Pride, Peace, and Solidarity,

Milwaukee Pride

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