Philadelphia comes together


The Task Force | 16401ga

A conference in Philadelphia, “Queering Racial Justice”, offered a series of workshops and panel discussions meant to help the LGBT community confront issues of race and racism. About 150 people attended the meeting for sessions on subjects including economic justice, poverty, Islamaphobia, criminal justice, and gun violence.

The event sponsored by organizations including the Pennsylvania NAACP, the ACLU, and Equality Pennsylvania, an LGBT rights group.

“We have to shift the gaze away from whiteness,” said the Rev. Rodney McKenzie, director of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Academy for Leadership in Action. “When people say “LGBTQ, they think of white gay men. We need people when they think LGBTQ to automatically think black and brown.” Gay people of color are often subjected to racism within the LGBTQ community, activists said.

Participants challenged social-justice groups to increase their efforts to reach out to a marginalized community, some of whom are too traumatized to fight back.