Seattle Pride Organizers Issue Statement After Concerns Of Event Charging White People ‘Reparations Fee’

Seattle Pride Organizers Issue Statement After Concerns Of Event Charging White People ‘Reparations Fee’

Two Seattle Pride Month organizers have apologized to the community after sending a letter to the city reacting to a separate planned event’s plans to collect a “$10 to $50 reparations fee” for White people, which they described as “reverse discrimination.”

The controversy involving Capitol Hill Pride directors Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson started late last week when the Seattle Human Rights Commission released the letter they had published on Twitter.

“It has come to our attention that an event called ‘Take B(l)ack Pride’ at the Jimi Hendrix public park June 26th is charging Whites only admission as reparations,” the couple wrote, requesting that the city examine the admittance policy.

“We consider this reverse discrimination in its worse form and we feel we are being attacked for not supporting due to disparaging and hostile e-mails,” they continued.

“We will never charge admission over the color of a person’s skin and we resent being attacked for standing in those values,” they added.

According to its Facebook page, the Taking B(l)ack Pride event would include live performances, dancing, and other activities, “EVERYONE is free to attend HOWEVER this is a BLACK & BROWN QUEER TRANS CENTERED PRIORITIZED, VALUED, EVENT.”

“White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee that will be used to keep this event free of cost for BLACK & BROWN Trans & Queer COMMUNITY,” it continues.

The Seattle Human Rights Commission, which describes itself as “22 representative residents of Seattle appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and other Seattle City departments” said in a response to LeFevre and Lipson that “the unique nature of your situation does not in fact violate any of your human rights as stated in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, which is the charter by which our Commission operates.”

“Black trans and queer peoples are among the most marginalized and persecuted peoples within the LGBTQIA2S+ community. They often face shame not only from the cis-heteronormative community, but within the queer community at large as well,” the commission wrote.

“In making the event free for the Black Queer community, the organizers of this event are extending a courtesy so rarely extended; by providing a free and safe space to express joy, share story, and be in community,” the commission added.

“We would like to recommend, if possible, that you educate yourself on the harm it may cause Seattle’s BIPOC community in your pursuit of a free ticket to an event that is not expressly meant for you and your entertainment,” the commission also shared.

Following local press reports that attendees were canceling their own planned event due to the nature of their letter, LeFevre and Lipson issued an apologies.

“We apologize for the inquiry to the City of Seattle regarding Take B(l)ack Pride, it was not meant to be an attack or divide but to ensure equality for all,” the duo said on Facebook on Saturday.

“Capitol Hill Pride encourages community events and our mission is to recognize the LGBTQ+ community and all spectrums,” they added.

“We sincerely want to elevate the segment of the LGBTQ community especially of black transgender women, recognize the important history and contributions and support this segment of the hidden rainbow. At this time we have requested an invitation of a meeting of hosting parties to resolve any issues and find common ground.” they concluded.

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