Two Pride Event Organizers Rejected A ‘Reparations Fee’ For White People. Now The City’s Shaming Them


Lacey Kestecher Contributor
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The Seattle Human Rights Commission said that a pride event, which featured a “reparations fee” for white people, did not “in fact violate … human rights as stipulated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights,” the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

“Black trans and queer peoples are among the most marginalized and persecuted within the LGBTIA2S+ community,” the Human Rights Commission wrote, according to the Daily Mail. “In making the event free for the Black Queer Community, the organizers of this event are extending a courtesy so rarely extended,” they reportedly continued.

While the event is open to the public, organizers stated in a Facebook post that it “is a black and brown queer trans centered, prioritized, valued, event.” To keep the event free for these “prioritized” communities, white attendees will have to pay $10 to $50 in “reparations.”

The letter came in response to an intervention request by pride event organizers, Philip Lipson and Charlette LeFevre, who challenged the “reparation fee,” and said that it’s “reverse discrimination in its worse form.”

“We will never charge admission over the color of a person’s skin and we resent being attacked for standing in those values,” they said in a letter to the Seattle Human Rights Commission. The organizers also questioned the legality of the fees under equality laws.

“We would like to recommend, if possible, that you educate yourself on the harm it may cause Seattle’s BIPOC community in your pursuit of a free ticket to an event that is not expressly meant for you and your entertainment,” the commission wrote.  (RELATED: Former Seattle Police Chief Says Media Bias Inside CHOP Made Protests Appear Less Violent Than They Were)

In response to Lipson and LeFevre’s letter, candidate for Seattle Mayor Lorena Gonzalez announced on Twitter that she will not be attending the event. Gonzalez wrote that she will not advocate for “an organization that is trying to stop Black people in the LGBTQ+ community from celebrating Pride in the manner that they choose.”