Dear Boston Pride,
The Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance is disappointed by Boston Pride’s lack of transparency and accountability to the LGBTQ community and for their lack of understanding and respect of the transgender community.
In April, Boston Pride put out a press release to promote their Stronger Together Rally. Despite the intentions to bring the community together, several poor decisions about the language used contributed to the erasure of the non-binary transgender community and further distanced our communities from each other. Despite receiving feedback about problematic language in their press release, Boston Pride still released their statement saying “We will rally in solidarity with women, with Muslims, with immigrants, with people of color and with our trans brothers and sisters.” This sentence is othering and we expect better from LGBTQ organizations. Non-binary trans people are constantly rendered invisible in discourse even though they are simultaneously hypervisible and targets for harassment, especially non-binary femmes of color. The decision of Boston Pride to issue the press release that renders a large and under recognized portion of the LGBTQ community invisible demonstrates the lack of intentionality and understanding of the transgender community. Although Boston Pride then adjusted the language on their web page, they made no efforts to acknowledge or rectify the harm of contributing to non-binary erasure.
As a small Asian & Pacific Islander focused LGBTQ organization, QAPA understands the importance and visibility of Boston Pride. We are grateful that Boston Pride has reduced the cost of organizations like QAPA to march in the pride parade but continue to be concerned that not all members of our community feel safe or welcome at Boston Pride.
We ask that Boston Pride publicly acknowledges their missteps and works to ensure their actions in the future do not perpetuate harm and instead celebrate transgender people of all genders and backgrounds; only then can we truly be stronger together.
QAPA Steering Committee
Community Organisations Signed On (updated as received):
Queer South Asian Collective (QSAC) - 5/30/17
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) - 5/31/17
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) - Boston Chapter - 06/05/17