Taking into consideration the GLSO’s mission of inclusion and focus on community involvement, the GLSO Board would like to make a statement about the events that have been taking place in Baltimore, Maryland.
First, we would like to address the role of the media and the mixed messages that have been surfacing for the last two days. It is important to recognize that context matters. While words such as “riots” and “looting” are the constant focus of the news, we recognize that this is merely an attempt to maintain the status quo and distract individuals from the reality of the situation: Black individuals in our country continue to be brutally killed and treated as second-class citizens by a system that consistently protects those of privileged identities. Therefore, we encourage members of our community to look beyond the headlines and understand the long history of oppression that our Black brothers and sisters have endured. As a community that knows too well the consequences of years of oppression and marginalization, let’s recognize that silence is never the answer, as silence “only encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” (Elie Wiesel). Let’s never side with the oppressor. Let’s never be the oppressor.
Second, we recognize that there are many members of our LGBTQ+ community who also share layers of oppressed identities, such as being Black and LGBTQ+, that make it harder for them to express their authentic selves. Therefore, we would like to reach out and say that: we see you, we hear you, and we understand your struggles. Please know that as a community organization we are here to provide ALL members of our community a safe space where you can BE your own authentic self.