BELOIT — Everyone’s invited to the Marsha P. Johnson Intersectional Pride event 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the northeast corner of State Street and Grand Avenue.
Hosted by Yellow Brick Road (YBR) and SURJ-Beloit: Showing Up for Racial Justice, the event is being held to honor black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC) and the Latinx LGBTQ+ communities. There will be particular attention focused on highlighting black trans lives.
“Making the event focus on black trans lives is highlighting a vulnerable group. We stand hand in hand within our community in the fight for justice and safety,” said Yellow Brick Road board member Elizabeth Champney.
At 2 p.m. people will gather to chalk the sidewalk with the names of people murdered because of their identities. Speakers will begin at 3 p.m. followed by a march. During the march the names of those who have been murdered will be read.
June 28 also marks the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which began the modern gay rights movement.
“We decided to name the event after Marsha P. Johnson because she is credited with throwing the first brick and being the mother of the Pride movement following the riots,” said Meg Trimm of SURJ.
Champney said YBR and SURJ have been collaborating on the event for about a week.
“We decided to have it happen quickly to continue the public conversation around the need for solidarity,” Champney said.
Trimm said businesses are encouraged to participate by painting their windows.
“We want to create a space where we can discuss justice and uplift, and we want to invite the community in,” Trimm said.
Trimm said the event is designed to celebrate and listen. Although June is Pride month, many events around the country have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Trimm said it’s important to take a moment in what would otherwise be a jovial celebration to celebrate brothers and sisters of color who are left behind. Black trans people are one of the most vulnerable populations at risk for discrimination or even violence.
Those who attend the event are asked to wear a mask and prepare to social distance. Pride swag is welcomed.