Before it was a parade, Before it was a month of rainbow-colored everything,
Pride was a riot.
A riot led by Black and Brown trans women, in response to police brutality, raids at gay bars, systemic harassment, and racist, homphobic, transphobic laws.
As people who work in advertising, we believe it's all of our responsibility to acknowledge that any time a brand splashes a rainbow across their logo,
It's because of that history. It's because of that riot. It's because of Black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson, and other people who weren't afraid to break things so that they may be rebuilt.
As protests for Black Lives Matter continue across the world, let's remember how social movements often start – with Black and Brown women, with poor people, queer people, and others who the system has forgotten. Let's also remember that for all Black trans women have done for the LGBTQ+ community and the world, their average life expectancy is 35 years old.
We can change this.
By uplifting and centering the stories and creativity from the most marginalized members of society, including Black trans women. By supporting causes that benefit them, via housing, mental health support, and security. By remembering that culture doesn’t come from the rich and powerful, but the poor and powerless. The rich and powerful just make it profitable. By hiring trans people, Black people, and queer people to create a more intersectional environment for our world.
We created The Queer Brick - a rainbow-colored brick, painted by a black queer artist in-house, as a symbol of the rainbow-washing of Pride. We are holding an auction for it, with 100% of proceeds going to the Ali Forney Center for Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth. We’ll also be selling posters of the brick as an additional way to support the community.
People can follow (or bid) in the auction before it closes on Friday 6/3 by going to QueerBrick.com.