for the past few months, several community members and groups, including gran varones, have been demanding that the philly queer community and those in leadership positions address the gayborhood’s covert racism and pervasive anti-blackness. but we have been met with not just resistance but with more anti-blackness.
just a week ago the philadelphia’s director of lgbtq affairs was quoted saying “I believe that Gayborhood business owners genuinely want to address the community’s concerns and to ensure that everyone feels safe and welcome.” the foundation of this statement was violent because it communicated that we were making shit up and that if we somehow believe - just believe in the “goodwill” of gay business owners - things will get “better.”
she also mentioned that the office of lgbtq affairs was working with philly black pride on a four point action plan. i have to note that a member of philly pride stated that gran varones and black & brown led efforts were not doing work that is “transformative” in addressing the systematic anti-blackness in the gayboyhood. this was stated when we, along with other folks stated they we were not interested in working with or centering white allies. we experience the statement as an attack. for an established and funded project like philly black pride to minimize the work of grassroots and non-funded efforts like gran varones and the Black & Brown Workers Collective it hella violent. especially when icandy and their shady “no-timbs” policy. but i digress. back to the reason i started this post.
early this morning, a lovely angel posted a video of the owner of icandy, a gay club frequented by black and brown queer folks, repeating the “n” word and laughing. stating at all we want are free drink tickets. chyle! even the person he was talking to in the video gagged. at the end of the video, you hear the person say “oh my god.” i imagined he clutched his pearls.
so after being told that we were creating trouble, we now have receipts! and this receipt is one that comes with coupons, honey! while a sex tape can jumpstart a career - a racist tape still has the power to destroy one.
the owner has posted an “apology” confirming that it is his voice. read below.
the response has been swift with the black & brown workers collective protesting in front of iCandy earlier this evening calling for a boycott as well as demanding the LGBTQ community and leaders address this issue and the anti-blackness that continues to erode philly’s queer community. during the protest, the BBWC passed out “free drink” tickets to people walking into iCandy.
to all black and brown queers challenging the anti-blackness and transphobia in gayborhood all around the country - we salute you and we believe you!