Patrisse Cullors Urges White People to Stand Up for Black Lives: "We Need Everybody Right Now"

The co-founder of Black Lives Matter referenced the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and emphasized that now is the time to "show up" for one another.

In kicking off the Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter's second annual Pride Summit and Prom on Saturday, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors described herself as a "proud, queer Black woman" who has been out since she was 16 years old. 

She noted that the first Pride march was "actually an uprising" at Stonewall [in 1969]. "It makes me really remember and believe," said Cullors, noting that racial intersectionality is important to understand right now as part of this larger conversation about Black Lives Matter. 

Welcoming everyone to the Pride event, Cullors underlined, "we have so much to give young, queer and trans folks today." She explained that, for the last seven years, Black queer women have been "at the helm" of the Black Lives Matter movement. During that time, they took on "some of the biggest forces in American politics" such as the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and law enforcement.

Referencing the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Cullors said, "this conversation about anti-Black racism is not just for the Black community, it's for every single one of us. Now is the time for white folks across gender, sexual orientation to stand up for Black lives. We need everybody right now."

Cullors went on to note that, just seven years ago, it was "radical" to say Black Lives Matter. "Today, we're calling for defunding of the police." She again spoke about the Stonewall uprising, noting that the police were "terrible" in their handling of it. "It was not that long ago that queer folks were criminalized for what they wore and for who we [have] sex with," said Cullors. The activist reminded those viewing the Pride event that Black Lives Matter was started by just two queer Black women. "Now is a time for us to show up for one another."

Following Cullors, singer Shea Diamond performed and offered a personal song titled "Don't Shoot," which gave a window into her teenage life and run-ins with law enforcement.

Boy George, Trixie Mattell, Rex Rebel and Madame Gandhi were among the other artists who will perform throughout the day. 

The second annual Pride Prom and Summit supports The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. 

Featured at the Summit are conversations with leading voices in the entertainment industry, such as Lena Waithe and Lilly Wachowski; glam sessions, tutorials, DJ sets and more. Actors Wilson Cruz and Jonica Gibbs, producer Jessica Hargrave, singer Todrick Hall and screenwriters Steven Canals and Abbey McEnany participated in main events.

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