Trayvon Deserves Justice: 35 LGBT Rights Organizations Issue Open Letter In Solidarity

35 LGBT Rights Organizations have come together to issue an open letter demanding justice for Trayvon Martin. These groups represent diverse interests but operate under the same belief system, recognizing that it’s our collective responsibility to call out and fight inequality and injustice in all its forms. I have pasted the entirety of the letter here, which you can also read on the website of the Transgender Law Center. The list of the organizations who collaborated on this letter is at the end.

An Open Letter: Trayvon Deserves Justice

We cannot begin to imagine the continued pain and suffering endured by Trayvon Martin’s family and friends. We stand in solidarity with them as they continue to fight for justice, civil rights and closure. And we thank everyone who has pushed and will continue to push for justice.

Trayvon Martin deserves justice and his civil rights. We support the organizations and community leaders who are urging the federal government to explore every option to ensure that justice is served for Trayvon and that his civil rights are honored and respected. But our work does not end there: we will honor Trayvon Martin by strengthening our commitment to end bias, hatred, profiling and violence across our communities.

We represent organizations with diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituencies. Our community has been targets of bigotry, bias, profiling and violence. We have experienced the heart-breaking despair of young people targeted for who they are, who they are presumed to be, or who they love: Rashawn Brazell, Lawrence King, Ali Forney, Brandon Teena, Brandon White, Matthew Shepard, Marco McMillian, Angie Zapata, Sakia Gunn, Gwen Araujo and countless others.

Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.

Justice delayed is justice denied and in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “a right delayed is a right denied.” We honor Trayvon by seeking justice for all people.

All Out
American Civil Liberties Union
Believe Out Loud
BiNet USA
Bisexual Resource Center
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Equality Federation
Family Equality Council
Freedom to Work
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network)
GetEQUAL
GMHC
GLAD
GLAAD
Harvey Milk Foundation
Human Rights Campaign
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal
Movement Advancement Project
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National
The Trevor Project
Trans Advocacy Network
Transgender Law Center
Trans People of Color Coalition

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1764 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. Thumb up 5

    Please log in to vote

    Why is there no comments on this?! Yes LGBTQ ppl should support this injustice because we face them everyday as well. All ppl should stand up for the fair treatment of everyone human on this planet! If we start saying hoodies and dark skin are a sign of violence then we are furthering the “her skirt was too short” rape mentality!

  2. Thumb up 12

    Please log in to vote

    Though I’m torn, I agree 100% with this. I love AS for trying to continue this conversation and I think it’s so important that we talk about Trayvon but at the same time this whole entire thing hit too close to home both figuratively and literally. I will try but I feel a sense of loss, sadness and helplessness that makes me not want to think about it in passing let alone long enough to form anything constructive to say.

    I can’t help but think about my nephews and niece and wonder what type of country are they going to come of age in? Will anything that comes out of this help them in anyway?
    Everyone (in these circles at least) feels like shit because of the verdict and I believe most people eyes are starting to open to the bigger problem. This case was about Trayvon and what it means to be a young black man in America but it can’t end there because it’s not just injustice in our justice system that we need to conquer. Just have look around and see the truth for what it is: Zimmerman’s biggest supporters are white right wing conservatives. These are the same people who will not only vehemently use the constitution to fight for their right to bear arms while completely disregarding POCs right to live and actively deny women’s constitutional right to abortion. They will also gloat about how their great grandparents were poor immigrants but worked hard and started businesses while doing all they can to ensure that immigration reform dies in the House. They will do all that they can to exclude the LGBT population from and all anti-discrimination laws and when that fails they will froth at the mouth until trans* people are excluded from some of our biggest LGBT wins. They will wag their fingers at naughty Egypt for not being properly democratic while doing all they can to ensure as few POC can vote as possible. And this isn’t even the end of it. They won’t stop until those Good Ole Days are back and anything less is a threat and infringes on their rights (because it’s all about their rights and “comfort levels”).

    If we want a better America for all of the kids then we need to fight back. And we need to fight back as one because the source of all of our recent losses are coming from the same people with the same view and they are united against all of us. They flourish when we are divided and ignorant of what they’re up to and of each other’s plights. I love this letter we need to always have solidarity, stay informed and keep speaking out and showing up (for each other).

  3. Thumb up 4

    Please log in to vote

    Anybody deserves the right to walk the nations streets and go about their daily activities without some wantabe policeman questioning their rights to do so. Trayvon just went to the store for some treats at 7pm in the evening. This is not a late and unusual hour. This is the early evening when many individuals are out on their streets walking especially in Florida because it is a cooler part of the day. Rain in Florida is an accepted part of life and many teenagers are willing to ignore it if it means getting a treat to watch a sports game or share with their brothers and sisters or friends. We members of the GLBTQ community share many of the same feelings that ethnic minorities feel about walking about on the streets and having our existence questioned in the community. We as parents even share that fear for our children.

    This is what makes this a hate crime. George Zimmerman did not recognize Trayvon’s right to exist on the sidewalks in this community. The courts and many members of the community did not even question the point of view and assumptions that Zimmerman had for his actions. No one stood up for Trayvon’s right to defend himself when he was confronted by George.

    When Zimmerman told his story no one questioned how exactly Trayvon was able to approach him from behind considering the rows of apartment buildings and where was this bush? Where was the blood on the sidewalk and how anyone got hold of a gun that was pinned beneath George and the ground and under Trayon’s legs if indeed Trayvon was on top of George when George shot him. Now much evidence was left out of this case because it was not collected or there was no one to present it to the jury?

    Trayvon had a reason to be where he was, he was going the home he was staying with his father. Zimmerman had no reason to be where Trayvon was except to question Trayvon’s right to exist.

    As a member of Community Watch it was George’s responsibility to watch from a distance and report to the police. Unfortunately in Florida once Trayvon was reported to the police as a suspicious looking person he was just as much at risk of being shot by the police because the police would be approaching him as a suspect and in Florida if a policeman feels threatened by a person that is reported as suspicious they are justified in shooting first and asking questions later even if the person is found to be unarmed. Many times it is considered a justified shooting by the police authorities.

    Such is life.

  4. Thumb up 9

    Please log in to vote

    Seeing post like this give me hope to keep on wanting to fight and speak and discuss when I don’t want to go anymore. I just moved to Portland, and am the only black person in my apartment building, at my job, at the place where I meditate and pretty much everywhere I go. I have no issue being around any race but I do miss seeing my own people. When the verdict was read I felt a mixture of emotions.

    When the verdict was first read I was incredibly upset. Not just because of the race issue that surrounds this but the fact that this man can legally get away with murder and I understand the loopholes in the laws that allowed this to happen. I’m upset because this law exist and because it takes something as ridiculous for there to be change.

    When bringing the race back into the equation, the verdict made me scared. I’m scared for my brothers and cousins who I don’t want this to happen to. I’m scared for the children that are at this second being brought into this crazy world. And, I’m scared to see what happens next. Because something HAS to happen. Something NEEDS to change.

    Lastly, this verdict made me mad with myself. I was mad because that same day an ignorant woman asked me if I was from Jamaica (I’m assuming because I’m black and have dreads) and rather than educate her as to why that isn’t okay for her to ask I laughed nervously and said no ma’am. I mad with myself because I accepted this job after my boss told me that “she was glad to get some color in this office,” happily, and without asking why that should matter. And mostly I’m mad because up to this point I have done nothing to stand up for myself and my race when I needed to.

    If we all take one chance to educate and speak and fight and be heard maybe one person will listen.

  5. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    While this post and the way Autostraddle is still talking about this makes me hopeful something can change I have to wonder if it will. After all it looks like nothing has changed culturally since the 1950s but the quiet racism and bias (and other anti-anything but while hetero cis male) that occurs.

  6. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    Everyone in the US should be disgusted by this verdict and travesty of justice. And LGBT orgs need to increasingly focus on intersectional issues of social justice if we expect other groups to support our efforts to find safety and equal rights.

  7. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    I keep looking at our present time and wonder…. what will this look like in my children’s history books? What will be mentioned? What will be left out? I’m going to make sure my children and grandchildren know the story of Trayvon Martin.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.