Family, I am so thrilled to be here today. My name is Kierra Johnson. I am a daughter of the South, a mother, and the first Black, pansexual, woman to lead the National LGBTQ Task Force. It is an honor to celebrate the MOW’s 60th and the Task Force’s 50th anniversaries in the same spot Audre Lorde spoke from in 1983. The March Bayard Rustin helped organize in 1963.
This opportunity is more than a dream realized for me; I AM—WE ALL are the product of our ancestors’ wildest dreams.
Our lives are literally under attack. Our trans, gender queer and non-binary children are being targeted. Religion has been weaponized to deny care and rights to our loved ones. The erosion of voting rights, the dehumanization of immigrants, the policing of black and brown bodies, and attempts to erase the contributions of our people.
Yet here we are.
We are manifesting the solidarity that is the cornerstone of progress. Of Liberation. The causes we are marching for will impact generations. This is our country. This is our democracy. We have the power to demand what we want.
• We deserve a community that affirms, values, and celebrates Black Trans women instead of one that seeks to eradicate them.
• We deserve a government that values human rights while uplifting the marginalized and forgotten, regardless of immigration status.
• We deserve a community that invests in the health and wellbeing of its people and welcomes a society of learning and love.
• All people deserve bodily autonomy and liberation that extends across party lines, religions, and the federal and state agencies that our tax dollars fund.
• We deserve Congressional leaders that will pass essential lifesaving and affirming legislation like the Each Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the Renewing Immigration Provisions Act, and the Equality Act.
Let us move forward with determination and hope as we honor the legacy of those who paved the way for us. Let’s continue to build bridges of solidarity by reaching out to those who love us but may not understand the importance of our cause.
As I look out, I see an unstoppable force capable of dismantling the barriers that hinder our collective progress… a multigenerational, multi-racial and cultural movement cemented in the pursuit of equity, liberation, and justice. For all. Together, there is nothing we can’t do!
Reprinted with permission of the National LGBTQ Task Force