To Our Community:
This year, Stonewall Youth’s Staff Collective decided to support a group of Queer and Trans People of Color in creating space for an Ancestor Procession during the Pride Parade. Our youth participants and numerous community members contributed in the creation of the altar, brought flowers, herbs, signs, and other items they felt relevant to celebrate, remember, mourn, and call on our Queer Ancestors. (At the end of this letter, we have posted the text from the invitation the group posted on Facebook.)
As a contingent, we decided to walk at a pace that could accommodate the mobility of all people who marched with us in the procession. Due to this, many people who otherwise would have opted out of participating were able to do so, and we received feedback that our section of the parade this year was the most accessible it had ever been. The Procession also paused for several minutes near Sylvester Park to honor QTPOC ancestors and to acknowledge their living presence in our lives. For this particular day, our group intentionally decided that grieving and honoring the dead should not be rushed. We wanted to be respectful of ourselves and of the dead and not move on too quickly to convenient distractions.