LGBTQ community reacts to recent gayborhood racism

— from Philadelphia by Ernest Owens

Following the recent controversy surrounding the reveal and admittance of a video showing ICandy owner Darryl DePiano using the n-word repeatedly, Gayborhood community leaders have sounded off on their thoughts on social media and in protest.

Here are few Facebook reactions:

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Later Thursday evening, it was announced that the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and the Office of LGBT Affairs will be holding a hearing on racism in the LGBT community on October 25th. This comes after weeks of activists calling for the Office of LGBT Affairs to address acts of racism in the community.

The Black and Brown Workers Collective (BBWC), which called for a boycott of ICandy and Woody’s earlier this week, held a protest outside of ICandy yesterday. The organization initially entered the bar passing out “Anti Blackness” free drink passes with the racist quote from owner Darryl DePiano scripted. The protest had roughly 30 members of the community present and after initially entering the facility and protesting, police were called by the establishment and BBWC took their protest outside of the building. No arrests were made.

During the protests, the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club released a statement supporting the boycott of ICandy:

“The video that surfaced today is a stark reminder of the absolutely unacceptable racism that exists in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood,” reads the statement from Liberty City’s Board of Directors. We in the LGBT community know what homophobia feels like, but it is time that we do more to understand and stand up against the ways racism affects the lives of queer people of color in our community. The comments made by the owner of ICandy, an establishment that presents itself as a safe space for a vulnerable community, are only a symptom of a much deeper problem in our community. People of color already face too much hatred in our country today and we believe that every member of our LGBT community, no matter their race, should feel equally as welcome and secure in the safe spaces we have carved out. Liberty City plans to remove ICandy from our GOTV Bar Crawl, and will not host or participate in any events that happen at that venue. Further, we plan to use our platform to continue to call out racism we see in our community, and we plan to do as much as we can do to make space at our table for communities of color. We all need to do more to make the Gayborhood a welcoming place for every LGBT Philadelphian.”

After the protest, BBWC released the following statement exclusively to G Philly after receiving information about the recent public statement made by PCHR and Office of LGBT Affairs:

We know that this is a statement that is much of the same. The power structure is not “allowing” people to testify! We have already been testifying and We will continue to speak truth to power. Our stance remains firm, divest divest divest from institutions who are anti- black. We are done looking to white supremacist systems for justice or reprieve. Divest. This is movement time.

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