Strategy devised to combat racism in LGBT community

Philadelphia Black Pride released a four-point strategy this month to combat racism in the LGBT community.

It calls for establishing a reporting system for incidents of racial bias in the local LGBT community and establishments; training to educate the community; a challenge for LGBT establishments to pledge equal access to their facilities and participate in training on consistent implementation of anti-discrimination policies; and creating visible accountability for noncompliant establishments. 

Over the next three months, Philadelphia Black Pride will work with partners to formalize the strategy, the organization posted on its Facebook page.

“We are dedicated to carrying this plan out in excellence and continuing to keep the community engaged in the process,” the organization posted. “This was not an easy task nor done alone.”

About 30 people attended a town hall Dec. 2 at William Way LGBT Community Center to create the strategy. Another town hall will take place in February to evaluate its effectiveness. The first town hall, which had over 75 people in attendance, asked members of the LGBT community to share incidents of racism they had experienced in the Philadelphia area.

D’Ontace Keyes, chief creative officer of Philadelphia Black Pride, led the December town hall. He said the events started this fall as a reaction to a Metro column that called out Woody’s and other Gayborhood bars for catering more to white, gay patrons. The discussion surrounding that column ramped up over the summer and fall.

The owners of Tabu and ICandy attended the December town hall, as did Nellie Fitzpatrick, director of the Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, and Rue Landau, executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

Discussion included identification practices at LGBT bars and how to combat comments people of color heard from fellow patrons.

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