Just days before Seattle’s huge Pride parade and celebration, organizers hosted a more serious event to discuss some of the important issues facing the LGBTQ community. They called it “Real Talk: LGBTQ Conversations for Change” and hoped it would lead to some deep discussions.
Seattle Pride President, Kevin Toovey, says it’s something they must address “people assume the LGBT community, as a whole, we have everything sorted out,” he said. “There is racism for a lot of people in our community.”
This city of Philadelphia recently unveiled a new rainbow flag featuring brown and black stripes to acknowledge members of the LGBT community who belong to other racial groups. Toovey wishes he had the flag for Seattle's event but only saw it a few days ago.
“It represents everything we're fighting for,” he said. “I have seen folks who say there's no need to add (the stripes) because those folks are already covered, and I think that speaks volumes about the work we still need to do in our own community.”
The forum was a safe space for people to express their feelings and frustrations. Panelists like Jade Sotomayor encouraged the group to focus on coming together “we're making a change here” he said. “I think if we start worrying about fighting one another and who can come and who cannot come then it's defeating the purpose of us being able to be free and be who we are.”