PhillyBlackPrideMarch

Last week, Philadelphia celebrated Philly Black Pride and its first Black Pride March.

A group of 35 people gathered at Philadelphia’s City Hall to express the need for inclusion in the city in terms of race and LGBTQ acceptance.

Openly gay Philadelphia man Romaine Gibbs started the event by asking participants to join arms.

“When we bind and unite like this,” Gibbs said, “people cannot destroy us.”

Mayor Kenney also spoke at the event and shared the mentality that LGBTQ people of color deserve respect.

“You are my brothers and sisters,” Kenney told the crowd. “You are human beings who deserve dignity.”

From there, those who gathered marched around the building with a police escort.

In a time when two black men can be arrested for sitting in a Starbucks for less than 10 minutes (and later take the high road by settling with the city for $1 each and $200,000 for youth programs), Black people in the city are compelled to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation.

But what happens when you’re a minority within a minority? Even worse, what if you’re a minority within two different minorities?

Besides the race issues between Black people and the general populace, there is a specific concern for race problems within Philadelphia’s Gayborhood.

From the owner of a popular gay club being caught saying the N word to controversy over the inclusion of black and brown stripes to the Rainbow flag, racially charged conflict has been especially prevalent in the LGBTQ sections of the city.

Things have gotten so bad that the city legally stepped in to introduce inclusivity training in the Gayborhood.

Despite the government’s involvement, Black LGBTQ people and LGBTQ people of color still feel the need for acknowledgement, protections, and a voice in the city. This exactly mirrors why Philadelphia Black Pride was founded back in August of 1999.

Each year since, Black people living in the city and living around it join together for a week of charity, protesting, and partying. Then last week, 35 people gathered to march the Center City streets, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This is a chance to just have something of our own, even though we welcome our white brothers and sisters in solidarity,” said Antar Bush, an LGBT community organizer who planned the march with the help of the city’s LGBT Affairs Office. “It’s not about exclusively. It’s about being more inclusive.”

The Inquirer also asked March participants how much progress they thinik Philadelphia has made in terms of racism in the Gayborhood and the LGBTQ community at large. The responses varied.