Being Black and gay: LGBTQ group stands with #BlackLivesMatter

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Members of LGBTQ community are on the frontlines for Black Lives Matter during Pride month. PACE (People Acting for Change and Equality) has openly supported protests in honor of George Floyd and condemn the actions of the Minneapolis police officers associated with his death.

Adrienne Critcher is the political and communications director for PACE and says the LGBTQ community has a common cause with their black brothers and sisters, because there are members of their community that are both LGBTQ and Black. There’s also a long history of Black LGBTQ members fighting for their rights during the Civil Rights Era.

“We wanted to make it real cleat that even though we’re primarily advocating for LGBTQ issues, Black Lives Matter,” said Critcher, “Bayard Rustin introduced Martin Luther King Jr. to the non-violent principals of protests. He was also the organizer for the 1963 March on Washington. Bayard Rustin was a Black gay man.”

57 years later, Critcher says both groups are still searching for equality.

Steven Knight is both Black and a part of the LGBTQ community. Knight marched in Saturday’s protest in Shreveport for Black Lives Matter. He encourages people to ask questions about the things they may not understand.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities that haven’t been afforded not only to queer people, but black people who have to overcome a lot of resistance socially and culturally to be seen and validated,” said Knight,”I’m not only queer and Black, but you know I’m also a Christian which for a lot of people is an anomaly.”

“It is indeed a struggle. Living in the South. Living in Louisiana. Having to find your way. Having to prove yourself. Having to work a little bit harder,” said Mark Kevea Campbell, “We have a unique opportunity to show our black sisters and brothers that are marching, that are protesting, that are advocating for change, that you know what? We’re right here with you too.”

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