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Proud, Compassionate, and Learning: A Letter for Pride 2020

News Section Icon Published 6/19/2020

[Opinion Piece]

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Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Died from multiple stab wounds. She was a Black trans woman who made outfits and wigs as part of her freelance fashion work and, last year, organized "Rock the Runway – A Trans Empowerment Fashion Show.”  

Riah Milton of Liberty Township, Ohio: Shot and killed during a robbery. She was a Black trans woman who worked as a home health aide and studied at the University of Cincinnati.  

Tony McDade of Tallahassee, Florida: Shot and killed by Tallahassee Police. He was a Black trans man who had recently been released from prison, only to be gunned down while unarmed. 

Say their names. Know their stories.  

Black trans lives matter. 

As we celebrate Pride this year, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge where the tradition began. The Stonewall Riots, a series of protests in New York that served as the catalyst for the LGBTQ+ rights movement we know today, were a reaction to police violencejust like the violence Black trans people in the United States still disproportionately experienceAt the forefront of those riots were Black trans women like Marsha P. Johnson, a drag queen and activist. 

This past week, we witnessed one of the largest demonstrations in support of Black trans lives ever in New York and Los Angeles. Now, the world must unite behind them 

Compassion in World Farming’s mission is built on the fundamental truth that all living beings deserve and demand compassion and respect—and that unjust systems that disregard that truth, such as factory farming, must be dismantled. Our organization may have been established to combat farmed animal cruelty, but we have and must continue to grow the intersectionality of our platform. 

Therefore, wmust confront all the injustices perpetuated within and around our food system. These include those inflicted upon Black and Brown communities disproportionately exposed to pollution from factory farms, those inflicted upon lower-income and undocumented workers suffering through dangerous conditions at slaughterhouses, and many more. 

As openly queer, white, cis employees within a predominately white movement, we acknowledge the role we must play in creating a more equitable future and advocacy space. We commit to better educating ourselves on the ways in which factory farming impacts queer, Black, Latinx, indigenous and immigrant communities. We commit to carving out opportunities to engage in more and better cross-movement messaging and advocacy. We commit to lifting up and amplifying BIPOC and LGBTQ+ voices.  

However, we recognize that our empathy and advocacy cannot and shall not extend only from farm to fork. To secure the compassionate and sustainable future for animals, people, and the planet we wish to achieve, it is critical that we stand alongside our LGBTQ+ and BIPOC colleagues, neighbors, and loved ones and fight for justice when and where it’s needed.  

Happy Pride. Happy Juneteenth.

Proudly & Compassionately, 

Sophie Dalterio & Tyler Hazard 

 

Sophie Circle Headshot Sophie Dalterio is the Corporate Compliance Coordinator at Compassion in World Farming USA. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology, and an M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University.
Tyler Circle Headshot Tyler Hazard is the Public Engagement Manager at Compassion in World Farming USA. He holds a B.S. in Animal Science and Psychology, and an M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University.