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Rev. Troy Perry Urges Social Justice and Action on 55th Anniversary of Stonewall Rebellion

As the 55th anniversary of the historic Stonewall uprising nears, one of the leading activists of the earliest public marches and gay rights social actions is calling on people of all faiths, sexual orientations and identities to oppose the escalating homophobia and anti-LGBTQ+ laws fueled by predominantly North American religious extremists armed with debunked pseudoscience in the guise of Christianity.

Rev. Troy D. Perry is founder of the international Metropolitan Community Churches denomination who led the 1960’s public protests in Los Angeles preceding the Stonewall rebellion. He is leading this Call for Action in an initiative to uplift, protect, build resilience in the LGBTQIA+ community, and restore the embrace of sexual orientations and identities of pre-colonial Africa.

“African people are in a State of Emergency of historic proportions.  We must voice our opposition to religious and pseudoscience extremism that is leading to new African genocide,” says Rev. Perry.

“For centuries, Africa has been under assault by predominantly European colonizers, driven by the forces of economic, political and religious domination, even resulting in genocide,” he stated.  “This is a centuries-long struggle which devastated African traditions and cultures by ruling colonial powers and corrupted religious institutions.”

Perry identifies the invaders as having enriched themselves for centuries, then “exported the African people themselves to dominate the North American continent as a proud indigenous people were facing their own genocide by these same invaders.”

The recent rise in dangerous threats of anti-LGBTQ legislation and discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people in Africa, according to Perry, can most recently be traced to the pre-first World War period of what’s known as the period of New Imperialism with its rapid acceleration of colonization and laws.  

In 2024, Perry remarks, we are in the midst of a predominantly North American Religious Imperialism instigated by a corrupt and oppressive theology.

The outcome of these past several decades of crusading extremists, says Perry, is “intensifying homophobia, hatred, violence, and state-sanctioned imprisonment and death.”

Perry is issuing a global Call to Action for people of all faiths to join together in solidarity to “uplift, protect, build resilience, and Restore African Pride.”

An AFRICA PRIDE initiative is being launched to build a global coalition of individuals and organizations in support of the African LGBTQIA+ community living under rising threats of violence and the loss of legal and basic human rights protections.

In partnership with members of InterPride, the international organization of Pride event organizers, AFRICA PRIDE 2024 events are being planned as a continent-wide observance of the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

AFRICA PRIDE 2024 events are to include online programs and a variety of public and private in-person gatherings, depending on local conditions, including safety and security issues. 

The events in Africa will be supplemented by supporters’ Pride events  throughout the world and year-round supporting the United Nations Advocacy Program of InterPride, the international association of event organizers, through InterPride’s newly granted United Nations Consultative Status.

“AFRICA PRIDE 2024 is unlike any other Pride event ever envisioned,” says Perry, who created the world’s first permitted Pride parade in Los Angeles in 1970 on the first anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion.

The gatherings across Africa will be in small, intimate groups of 2 or more people wherever they can safely join together.  Private and secure online virtual spaces will enable participants to gather across the continent and globally, with interactive features and livestream events planned during the weekend.

In the spirit of the first Pride parade, individuals and organizations are invited to march in solidarity for the African LGBTQIA+ community who are unable to express themselves publicly.  

“There are 11 major Pride parades on Stonewall Weekend, in Europe, the UK, the US, Mexico and South America.” Perry remarked.  “We will be marching in solidarity to bring love, hope and joy to our brothers and sisters across Africa.”  

“Our message is simple.  LGBTQIA+ people have always been and will continue to be integral to the glorious tapestry of African culture.  The good news of Christianity sets us all free,” Perry said. “We oppose the evil in corrupted theology which is now enslaving and threatening lives across the continent.  Restore African Pride and set the people free.”

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By James Wandera Ouma, Executive Director, LGBT Voice Tanzania and Tanzania Pride / AFRICA PRIDE 2024

Based on our belief that assisting the marginalized LGBTQ community in Tanzania is more impactful than directly challenging the government, LGBT Voice Tanzania has decided to focus on providing support and aid to those in need. This approach aims to create a lasting positive change in society by helping the vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community, rather than potentially escalating tensions by confronting the authorities. Our goal is to make a meaningful difference in their lives of people and contribute to a more inclusive and supportive environment.

After thoughtful deliberation, the choice was made to provide assistance to the LGBTQ community in Tanzania. It is vital to acknowledge the array of obstacles LGBTQ individuals face, such as persecution, discrimination, violence, and limited access to necessary services. By offering support to these individuals, we can help meet their immediate needs, ease their daily struggles, and raise awareness in our society about the importance of inclusivity.

By prioritizing empowerment and support over direct confrontation, we are embracing a more sustainable and comprehensive strategy for driving social change. This method is rooted in the recognition that lasting societal shifts often originate from grassroots movements and community-driven projects. Collaborating with the LGBTQ community and equipping them with the necessary resources and aid can cultivate a sense of unity and resilience capable of withstanding the obstacles presented by oppressive systems and institutions.

This inclusive approach values the inherent strength and resilience of individuals and communities, recognizing that true transformation comes from within and flourishes through collective action. By standing together and supporting one another, we can dismantle oppressive structures and build a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

It is crucial to emphasize the far-reaching impact that our actions can have on society as a whole. By showing kindness, understanding, and support to the marginalized LGBTQ community, we not only improve their quality of life but also set a compelling example for others to emulate. This has the potential to ignite a ripple effect of positive transformation and motivate individuals to advocate for fairness and inclusivity within their own social circles.

Compassion and empathy are powerful tools that can bridge gaps and foster a sense of unity among diverse groups. When we extend a helping hand to those who are often overlooked or discriminated against, we contribute to building a more compassionate and accepting society. For instance, small acts of kindness such as listening to someone’s story, offering a word of encouragement, or attending LGBTQ events can make a significant difference in someone’s life and create a ripple effect of positivity.

Solidarity is another key aspect of creating a supportive environment for the LGBTQ community. By standing together in support of equality and human rights, we send a strong message that discrimination and prejudice have no place in our society. This sense of unity can inspire others to join the cause and become advocates for social change. For example, participating in pride parades, signing petitions for LGBTQ rights, or volunteering at LGBTQ organizations are all ways to show solidarity and make a meaningful impact.

By taking proactive steps to support the LGBTQ community, we not only uplift those who are marginalized but also pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable society. Our actions have the potential to spark a chain reaction of positive change, inspiring others to stand up for justice and equality in their own communities. Together, we can create a future where everyone is accepted, respected, and valued for who they are.

In conclusion, our decision to support the marginalized LGBTQ community in Tanzania is a reflection of our commitment to creating a more inclusive and compassionate society. By choosing a path of empowerment and assistance, we are laying the foundation for a more just and equitable future for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

JOIN US for Tanzania Pride on the Stonewall 55th Anniversary Weekend and AFRICA PRIDE 2024

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As decades of religious extremism, ignited and spread by mostly evangelical Americans in the name of Christianity, leads to rising homophobia and catastrophic consequences for the lives of LGBTQIA+ people across the vast African continent, AFRICA PRIDE 2024 is creating a global collective experience that brings together the LGBTQIA+ community, allies, and supporters, celebrating love, acceptance, and equality.

AFRICA PRIDE will be a year-round program of African LGBTQIA+ unity co-produced by InterPride members across Africa, along with other nonprofit organizations and individuals in Africa and around the world.

AFRICA PRIDE 2024 is an Africa-wide Pride event with hybrid online programs and local gatherings, both private and public, depending on local conditions, safety and security. Taking the lead on the continent will be the Dar es Salaam Tanzania Pride March.

Pride Solidarity Marches and musical performances will become a virtual experience interfaced with local participation in 22+ African countries, along with others around the world.

AFRICA PRIDE features Solidarity Marches with community groups and individuals marching in solidarity in 12 countries outside of Africa, including EuroPride in Greece, London Pride, Paris Pride, Oslo Pride, Dublin Pride, Mexico City Pride, Bogota Pride, San Francisco Pride, San Antonio Pride, Lexington Pride, and Twin Cities Pride in Minneapolis, with engaging displays of unity representing various LGBTQIA+ identities, history, and achievements.

Musicians & Artivists: A dynamic virtual online stage sponsored by the virtual festival company FILMOCRACY will host music, artivists and inspiring speeches, along with headlining artists from the LGBTQIA+ community and allies. A talent showcase features emerging artists and performers.

Community Engagement: A virtual Exhibition Hall with online booths offers resources, information and support, including mental health resources, HIV testing information, legal advice, and safe spaces, along with faith-based outreach with spiritual groups.

Story sharing platforms provide exhibitions of poetry, video and music, along with virtual art galleries, short films and videos highlighting African LGBTQIA+ history, culture and current issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community.

Spearheaded by Los Angeles-based nonprofit Rainbow Advocacy’s OUR PRIDE Arts & Advocacy Network, AFRICA PRIDE 2024 events will be focused on Stonewall Weekend, beginning on Friday, June 28, Stonewall Day, and concluding on Sunday, June 30, the final day of Pride Month 2024.

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